Maple Leaf Foodservice
Safe Summer Grilling at Home

Safe Summer Grilling at Home

With the grilling season getting into full swing, firing up the barbecue is a staple on almost everyone’s summer to do list. It is a time to gather with family and friends for a tasty meal while enjoying the outdoors. But Canadian summer days of course mean warmer temperatures and that means cooking outdoors has to be done with care.

Fortunately, there are easy tips you can undertake that minimize foodborne illness with some helpful tips:

  • Shop for meat and poultry last, and separate them from other food to avoid cross contamination
  • Once at home, refrigerate meat and poultry immediately. Keep raw meats on the bottom shelf of the fridge to avoid any packages from leaking juices onto foods below
  • Thaw meat and poultry completely before grilling so as to cook evenly
  • Marinate food in the refrigerator, instead of on counter tops. A good practice is to discard marinades after use but if a marinade is to be reused, make sure to boil it to destroy any harmful bacteria
  • Keep food cold when carrying it to another location or when bringing your shopping home. Insulated coolers with ice packs are an ideal option
  • Make sure food not being used is away from direct sunlight. Only take out food that will be immediately placed on the grill
  • Cleanliness is key. Ensure there are separate utensils and platters. Never use the same platter for raw and cooked foods
  • Different meats cook to different temperatures. These small temperature differences make a big difference when it comes to food safety, and so does a food thermometer you can use to check temperatures

Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures

  • Hamburgers, beef: 71.1° C / 160° F
  • Beef, lamb, veal (steaks, roasts, and chops):
    • Medium rare 62.7° C / 145° F
    • Medium 71.1° C / 160° F
  • All cuts of pork 71.1° C / 160° F
  • All poultry 73.8° C /165 F for pieces (85° C / 185° F for whole birds)

Here in Canada, summer barbecues are an enjoyable and relaxing change of pace and it’s great to get back outdoors after the winter, but not BBQ-ing year round means we may not be mindful of the food safety risks or precautions we have to take. You can find more information on Health Canada’s site and the tips for barbecuing page.

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