Outdoor Food Safety

One of our favorite summer pastimes is getting together with friends and firing up the grill.  This summer, take the steps necessary to prevent harmful bacteria from causing foodborne illness.

Food safety begins the moment you leave the grocery store and doesn’t necessarily end when the meal does! The way your food is packaged, transported and stored is just as important as how thoroughly it is cleaned and cooked. Follow these four basic rules to prevent foodborne illnesses at your cookouts.


  • Wash your hands often.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect utensils, dishes, cutting boards and countertops that come in contact with raw meat, poultry,      seafood or eggs.


  • Transport meat and poultry separate from other foods and beverages.
  • Keep raw meat and poultry on a different cutting board or countertop than other perishables.
  • Never put cooked foods on a plate that held raw meat.


  • Thaw meat or poultry thoroughly in the refrigerator to promote thorough and even cooking.
  • Cook meat and poultry thoroughly; use a food thermometer to ensure the food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature.

Safe   Minimal Internal Temperatures

Poultry 165°F
Ground Meat 160°F
Beef, Pork, Lamb and Veal 145°F—allow meat to rest   at least 3 minutes


  • Purchase meat and poultry last; go straight home and refrigerate or freeze perishables within two hours.
  • Refrigerate leftovers immediately; discard food left out over two hours (one if temperatures are above 90°F).

Learn More! Find out more details about the information listed above and get more tips and facts about grilling and barbequing.

Visit the following sites to learn more.

Foodborne Illnesses

The bacteria found in uncooked meats and poultry can cause some nasty illnesses! Foodborne illnesses like campylobacter, salmonella, E. coli, and listeria most commonly cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain and cramps. Dehydration can happen quickly if you are experiencing these symptoms. Drink plenty of fluids and contact your doctor.