CINCINNATI (WKRC) - For anyone firing up the grill during Memorial Day weekend, a few safety steps can prevent people from getting sick.
Start with handwashing before and after food preparation. The USDA says, 97 percent of the time, people fail to properly wash their hands for food prep and that’s how foodborne illness spreads.
Nutritionists at the Cleveland Clinic also say it’s critical not to put cooked meat on the same cutting board or plates as uncooked meat. The juices from the raw meat cause cross-contamination, which can make someone sick.
Grilling foods at proper temperatures and safe storage, as well as keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold is important.
“My best tip for storing leftovers is to put them in a glass or ceramic airtight container. If you do that, they can be good for up to three to four days in your refrigerator,” said Alexis Supan, a Cleveland Clinic registered dietician. “I suggest glass or ceramic because putting any fattier foods, like a sausage, into a plastic container – especially if it's recently off the grill and hot – can react with those plastics.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says these are the top five germs that cause foodborne illness:
Most can be avoided with proper hand hygiene and food temperature checks.
Another grilling hazard is a cancer-causing chemical known to form on the outside of meat if it’s over-charred. Grillers can reduce the odds of that by marinating meats ahead of time and taking them off the grill before they get blackened on the outside.