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The 12 Worst Foods You Can Eat at a Backyard Barbecue

The 12 Worst Foods You Can Eat at a Backyard Barbecue


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Don’t let excess fat and calories creep up on you

Ending the summer with a bang often means throwing a backyard barbecue. Whether you are cooking, grilling, or baking, you want to make sure that the foods you prepare are healthy and delicious. We spoke with Kristen Gradney, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, about the worst foods you could eat at a backyard barbecue.

The 9 Worst Foods You Can Eat at a Backyard Barbecue

Ending the summer with a bang often means throwing a backyard barbecue. Whether you are cooking, grilling, or baking, you want to make sure that the foods you prepare are healthy and delicious. We spoke with Kristen Gradney, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, about the worst foods you could eat at a backyard barbecue.

Baked Beans

“On average, a half-cup serving of baked beans contains 13 grams of sugar, almost five times the amount in a sugar cube,” Gradney says. “You may get sluggish and tired after eating this because of your body’s reaction to the large amount of sugar.” Instead, she recommends a black bean and corn salad dressed with olive oil and vinegar.

Cheeseburger

Cheeseburgers are high in fat, calories, and sodium, which puts this food on the naughty list. Gradney recommends trying a white-meat turkey hot dog with a whole-wheat bun.

Chips

Although that bag of greasy, crunchy chips is tempting, it will do nothing but make you more hungry. “Chips will not fill you up and you will get in more sodium than you’d like,” Gradney says. “Veggies will keep you full and help you not to overeat other foods.” Slice vegetables, such as carrots or sweet potatoes, into thin slices and bake them. That way, you can eat chips and stay healthy!

Cocktails

Mixed drinks and cocktails are usually loaded with sugar and calories, and you can easily drink a few, ending up with more calories from your drinks than the meal,” Gradney says. Avoid the sugar and pick a low-calorie light beer.

Coleslaw

“Use red wine vinegar to dress coleslaw, instead of mayonnaise,” Gradney says. “The culprit in this barbecue-friendly dish is the amount of mayonnaise used to dress it. Add green onions and reduced-fat feta cheese to jazz it up and give it flavor without all the calories.”

Fried Chicken

Heavy Sauces

It may be tempting to smother your food in barbecue sauce, but there are lighter, less-caloric options you can use instead. Try flavoring your food with fresh spices, sea salt, and pepper.

Ice Cream

Peach Cobbler

Summer is all about juicy, fresh peaches. However, proceed with caution if your peaches are covered in cream. “The USDA Nutrient Database says on average, one cup of peach cobbler can contain almost 500 calories and almost 10 teaspoons of sugar,” Gradney says. It’s definitely healthier to stick to grilled peaches and frozen yogurt.

Potato Salad

Mayonnaise sneaks up on you once again, so use red wine vinegar instead of mayonnaise. “Try making your potato salad with sweet potatoes,” Gradney suggests. “Savory sweet potato salad will contain more fiber and antioxidants.”

Ribeye Steak

Attention, all you red meat lovers: Eating meat sparingly is not a problem, but be conscious of your portion size and preferred cut. “One serving of ribeye steak has half of the daily value for cholesterol, five grams of saturated fat, and almost 300 calories,” Gradney says. “Your heart will thank you for not eating a ribeye.” Instead, try a flank steak, which has half the calories and fat of the ribeye steak. ​


10 Biggest Food Safety Mistakes People Make at a Barbecue

Make sure your backyard barbecue is delicious — and totally safe!

Related To:

Photo By: Mint Images/Getty Images

Photo By: The Picture Pantry/Getty Images

Photo By: A_Namenko/Getty Images

Photo By: Andia/Contributor/Getty Images

Photo By: Elenathewise/Getty Images

Photo By: Maroke/Getty Images

Photo By: Fishysam/Getty Images

Photo By: Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Photo By: Emily Hoefman/EyeEm/Getty Images

Photo By: M.Czosnek/Getty Images

Photo By: Caymia/Getty Images

What To Know Before You Fire Up the Grill

Barbecue season is in full swing! It can&rsquot get any better than the aroma of juicy burgers and sizzle of vegetables on the grill. With grilling season also comes the threat of foodborne illness which can spoil all the fun. Here are the top 10 biggest food safety mistakes often made &mdash and simple ways you can keep your barbecue favorites safe.

Defrosting Your Proteins Incorrectly

Whether you choose to defrost your frozen chicken, beef or fish on the counter top overnight, or worse, leave it out to defrost in the hot sun, you&rsquore asking for trouble. Harmful bacteria can multiply at room temperature to levels that can make you sick (even if you cook the food properly). Those same bacteria will multiply even more rapidly in much warmer temperatures, like on a hot 90-degree day.

Instead: Plan ahead. Defrost your proteins in the refrigerator one or two days before you barbecue it.

Storing Uncooked Meats On Top of Ready-to-Eat Foods

Food safety isn&rsquot just about cooking on the grill, but all the steps leading up to making that food. When defrosting meat, poultry and fish or storing uncooked proteins in the refrigerator, the last thing you want is juices from ground beef dripping on your fresh watermelon. This is a form of cross-contamination.

Instead: Store raw meat, poultry and fish on the bottom of your refrigerator or in a crisper drawer. You can also wrap it in a plastic bag to prevent any juices from leaking.

Using the Same Cutting Boards for Everything

Although it may be nice to save dishes, cutting the raw chicken on the same cutting board as your fruit and vegetables is a recipe for disaster. This is a common mistake known as cross-contamination, which can easily transfer the bacteria from your raw meats to your cooked produce.

Instead: Use separate cutting boards for raw meats, poultry and fish and ready-to-eat foods like produce and cheese.

Marinating At Room Temperature

Marinating meat, chicken, and fish adds flavor and makes your protein tender. Those acidic marinades can also help slow down any bacterial growth. A big faux pas is marinating your food uncovered at room temperature or outdoors in the heat. Bacteria love those warm temperatures, multiplying to amounts that can make someone sick.

Instead: Marinate your food covered in the refrigerator, and toss out any extra marinade that touched the raw meat, chicken or fish.

Packing Raw Meats with Raw Fruits and Vegetables

If you&rsquore packing for a barbecue, you&rsquoll oftentimes find yourself packing the raw chicken and burger patties with the fresh broccoli (for a broccoli slaw). Once again, those bacteria in the raw meats can easily find their way onto the raw vegetables which don't get cooked and the bacteria don't get destroyed.

Instead: Have two coolers available, one for raw meats and one for raw fruits, vegetables and other prepared foods.

Transporting Food in the Trunk

Find yourself packing your car with the food in the trunk? That is the hottest place in the car &mdash and harmful bacteria love those temperatures in order to multiply.

Instead: Transport food in the passenger part of the car, where it is a bit cooler (especially with air conditioning).

Eyeballing Doneness

It may seem easier to look at your meat to see if it's done, but that isn&rsquot the most accurate way. Checking your chicken or burger if they&rsquore no longer pink doesn&rsquot mean you&rsquove reached the proper temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria.

Instead: Invest a food thermometer (they start at around $10). Meat thermometers will have built in temperatures guides so you will know when your meat, chicken, or fish is done.

Using Same Plates for Raw and Cooked Meats

Many folks use the same dish and tongs or other utensils for raw burgers, for example, and cooked burgers. If you&rsquore using the same dish or utensils for raw and cooked meats, poultry or fish, you can unknowingly cross-contaminate the bacteria from the raw to cooked foods.

Instead: To avoid cross-contamination be prepared by having separate dishes and utensils for your raw and cooked foods.

Cooking Mass Amount of Meat At Once

A big barbecue calls for lots of grilled foods: hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, vegetables and fish. Many hosts grill up everything at the beginning, so the food will be ready when everyone arrives. But not everyone arrives at the same time and a few hours later, after the food has been sitting in the hot sun, folks may head for second or third helpings grabbing from that old pile of meats.

Instead: Prepare food in small batches. Keep raw meats in the cooler until they&rsquore ready for the barbecue.

Leaving Leftovers Out All Day

It&rsquos not only about leaving meats out all day, but all those salads slathered with mayonnaise get left outside at temperatures bacteria love to grow in. Sliced fruit, vegetables and prepared salads should be kept refrigerated. If leftovers are left out, then it should be no longer than one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees F or above, and no longer than two hours if it&rsquos less than 90 degrees F.

Instead: Keep the time on the clock so you know how long food is left out. To minimize food waste, serve food in small batches and keep extras refrigerated until use.


10 Biggest Food Safety Mistakes People Make at a Barbecue

Make sure your backyard barbecue is delicious — and totally safe!

Related To:

Photo By: Mint Images/Getty Images

Photo By: The Picture Pantry/Getty Images

Photo By: A_Namenko/Getty Images

Photo By: Andia/Contributor/Getty Images

Photo By: Elenathewise/Getty Images

Photo By: Maroke/Getty Images

Photo By: Fishysam/Getty Images

Photo By: Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Photo By: Emily Hoefman/EyeEm/Getty Images

Photo By: M.Czosnek/Getty Images

Photo By: Caymia/Getty Images

What To Know Before You Fire Up the Grill

Barbecue season is in full swing! It can&rsquot get any better than the aroma of juicy burgers and sizzle of vegetables on the grill. With grilling season also comes the threat of foodborne illness which can spoil all the fun. Here are the top 10 biggest food safety mistakes often made &mdash and simple ways you can keep your barbecue favorites safe.

Defrosting Your Proteins Incorrectly

Whether you choose to defrost your frozen chicken, beef or fish on the counter top overnight, or worse, leave it out to defrost in the hot sun, you&rsquore asking for trouble. Harmful bacteria can multiply at room temperature to levels that can make you sick (even if you cook the food properly). Those same bacteria will multiply even more rapidly in much warmer temperatures, like on a hot 90-degree day.

Instead: Plan ahead. Defrost your proteins in the refrigerator one or two days before you barbecue it.

Storing Uncooked Meats On Top of Ready-to-Eat Foods

Food safety isn&rsquot just about cooking on the grill, but all the steps leading up to making that food. When defrosting meat, poultry and fish or storing uncooked proteins in the refrigerator, the last thing you want is juices from ground beef dripping on your fresh watermelon. This is a form of cross-contamination.

Instead: Store raw meat, poultry and fish on the bottom of your refrigerator or in a crisper drawer. You can also wrap it in a plastic bag to prevent any juices from leaking.

Using the Same Cutting Boards for Everything

Although it may be nice to save dishes, cutting the raw chicken on the same cutting board as your fruit and vegetables is a recipe for disaster. This is a common mistake known as cross-contamination, which can easily transfer the bacteria from your raw meats to your cooked produce.

Instead: Use separate cutting boards for raw meats, poultry and fish and ready-to-eat foods like produce and cheese.

Marinating At Room Temperature

Marinating meat, chicken, and fish adds flavor and makes your protein tender. Those acidic marinades can also help slow down any bacterial growth. A big faux pas is marinating your food uncovered at room temperature or outdoors in the heat. Bacteria love those warm temperatures, multiplying to amounts that can make someone sick.

Instead: Marinate your food covered in the refrigerator, and toss out any extra marinade that touched the raw meat, chicken or fish.

Packing Raw Meats with Raw Fruits and Vegetables

If you&rsquore packing for a barbecue, you&rsquoll oftentimes find yourself packing the raw chicken and burger patties with the fresh broccoli (for a broccoli slaw). Once again, those bacteria in the raw meats can easily find their way onto the raw vegetables which don't get cooked and the bacteria don't get destroyed.

Instead: Have two coolers available, one for raw meats and one for raw fruits, vegetables and other prepared foods.

Transporting Food in the Trunk

Find yourself packing your car with the food in the trunk? That is the hottest place in the car &mdash and harmful bacteria love those temperatures in order to multiply.

Instead: Transport food in the passenger part of the car, where it is a bit cooler (especially with air conditioning).

Eyeballing Doneness

It may seem easier to look at your meat to see if it's done, but that isn&rsquot the most accurate way. Checking your chicken or burger if they&rsquore no longer pink doesn&rsquot mean you&rsquove reached the proper temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria.

Instead: Invest a food thermometer (they start at around $10). Meat thermometers will have built in temperatures guides so you will know when your meat, chicken, or fish is done.

Using Same Plates for Raw and Cooked Meats

Many folks use the same dish and tongs or other utensils for raw burgers, for example, and cooked burgers. If you&rsquore using the same dish or utensils for raw and cooked meats, poultry or fish, you can unknowingly cross-contaminate the bacteria from the raw to cooked foods.

Instead: To avoid cross-contamination be prepared by having separate dishes and utensils for your raw and cooked foods.

Cooking Mass Amount of Meat At Once

A big barbecue calls for lots of grilled foods: hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, vegetables and fish. Many hosts grill up everything at the beginning, so the food will be ready when everyone arrives. But not everyone arrives at the same time and a few hours later, after the food has been sitting in the hot sun, folks may head for second or third helpings grabbing from that old pile of meats.

Instead: Prepare food in small batches. Keep raw meats in the cooler until they&rsquore ready for the barbecue.

Leaving Leftovers Out All Day

It&rsquos not only about leaving meats out all day, but all those salads slathered with mayonnaise get left outside at temperatures bacteria love to grow in. Sliced fruit, vegetables and prepared salads should be kept refrigerated. If leftovers are left out, then it should be no longer than one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees F or above, and no longer than two hours if it&rsquos less than 90 degrees F.

Instead: Keep the time on the clock so you know how long food is left out. To minimize food waste, serve food in small batches and keep extras refrigerated until use.


10 Biggest Food Safety Mistakes People Make at a Barbecue

Make sure your backyard barbecue is delicious — and totally safe!

Related To:

Photo By: Mint Images/Getty Images

Photo By: The Picture Pantry/Getty Images

Photo By: A_Namenko/Getty Images

Photo By: Andia/Contributor/Getty Images

Photo By: Elenathewise/Getty Images

Photo By: Maroke/Getty Images

Photo By: Fishysam/Getty Images

Photo By: Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Photo By: Emily Hoefman/EyeEm/Getty Images

Photo By: M.Czosnek/Getty Images

Photo By: Caymia/Getty Images

What To Know Before You Fire Up the Grill

Barbecue season is in full swing! It can&rsquot get any better than the aroma of juicy burgers and sizzle of vegetables on the grill. With grilling season also comes the threat of foodborne illness which can spoil all the fun. Here are the top 10 biggest food safety mistakes often made &mdash and simple ways you can keep your barbecue favorites safe.

Defrosting Your Proteins Incorrectly

Whether you choose to defrost your frozen chicken, beef or fish on the counter top overnight, or worse, leave it out to defrost in the hot sun, you&rsquore asking for trouble. Harmful bacteria can multiply at room temperature to levels that can make you sick (even if you cook the food properly). Those same bacteria will multiply even more rapidly in much warmer temperatures, like on a hot 90-degree day.

Instead: Plan ahead. Defrost your proteins in the refrigerator one or two days before you barbecue it.

Storing Uncooked Meats On Top of Ready-to-Eat Foods

Food safety isn&rsquot just about cooking on the grill, but all the steps leading up to making that food. When defrosting meat, poultry and fish or storing uncooked proteins in the refrigerator, the last thing you want is juices from ground beef dripping on your fresh watermelon. This is a form of cross-contamination.

Instead: Store raw meat, poultry and fish on the bottom of your refrigerator or in a crisper drawer. You can also wrap it in a plastic bag to prevent any juices from leaking.

Using the Same Cutting Boards for Everything

Although it may be nice to save dishes, cutting the raw chicken on the same cutting board as your fruit and vegetables is a recipe for disaster. This is a common mistake known as cross-contamination, which can easily transfer the bacteria from your raw meats to your cooked produce.

Instead: Use separate cutting boards for raw meats, poultry and fish and ready-to-eat foods like produce and cheese.

Marinating At Room Temperature

Marinating meat, chicken, and fish adds flavor and makes your protein tender. Those acidic marinades can also help slow down any bacterial growth. A big faux pas is marinating your food uncovered at room temperature or outdoors in the heat. Bacteria love those warm temperatures, multiplying to amounts that can make someone sick.

Instead: Marinate your food covered in the refrigerator, and toss out any extra marinade that touched the raw meat, chicken or fish.

Packing Raw Meats with Raw Fruits and Vegetables

If you&rsquore packing for a barbecue, you&rsquoll oftentimes find yourself packing the raw chicken and burger patties with the fresh broccoli (for a broccoli slaw). Once again, those bacteria in the raw meats can easily find their way onto the raw vegetables which don't get cooked and the bacteria don't get destroyed.

Instead: Have two coolers available, one for raw meats and one for raw fruits, vegetables and other prepared foods.

Transporting Food in the Trunk

Find yourself packing your car with the food in the trunk? That is the hottest place in the car &mdash and harmful bacteria love those temperatures in order to multiply.

Instead: Transport food in the passenger part of the car, where it is a bit cooler (especially with air conditioning).

Eyeballing Doneness

It may seem easier to look at your meat to see if it's done, but that isn&rsquot the most accurate way. Checking your chicken or burger if they&rsquore no longer pink doesn&rsquot mean you&rsquove reached the proper temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria.

Instead: Invest a food thermometer (they start at around $10). Meat thermometers will have built in temperatures guides so you will know when your meat, chicken, or fish is done.

Using Same Plates for Raw and Cooked Meats

Many folks use the same dish and tongs or other utensils for raw burgers, for example, and cooked burgers. If you&rsquore using the same dish or utensils for raw and cooked meats, poultry or fish, you can unknowingly cross-contaminate the bacteria from the raw to cooked foods.

Instead: To avoid cross-contamination be prepared by having separate dishes and utensils for your raw and cooked foods.

Cooking Mass Amount of Meat At Once

A big barbecue calls for lots of grilled foods: hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, vegetables and fish. Many hosts grill up everything at the beginning, so the food will be ready when everyone arrives. But not everyone arrives at the same time and a few hours later, after the food has been sitting in the hot sun, folks may head for second or third helpings grabbing from that old pile of meats.

Instead: Prepare food in small batches. Keep raw meats in the cooler until they&rsquore ready for the barbecue.

Leaving Leftovers Out All Day

It&rsquos not only about leaving meats out all day, but all those salads slathered with mayonnaise get left outside at temperatures bacteria love to grow in. Sliced fruit, vegetables and prepared salads should be kept refrigerated. If leftovers are left out, then it should be no longer than one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees F or above, and no longer than two hours if it&rsquos less than 90 degrees F.

Instead: Keep the time on the clock so you know how long food is left out. To minimize food waste, serve food in small batches and keep extras refrigerated until use.


10 Biggest Food Safety Mistakes People Make at a Barbecue

Make sure your backyard barbecue is delicious — and totally safe!

Related To:

Photo By: Mint Images/Getty Images

Photo By: The Picture Pantry/Getty Images

Photo By: A_Namenko/Getty Images

Photo By: Andia/Contributor/Getty Images

Photo By: Elenathewise/Getty Images

Photo By: Maroke/Getty Images

Photo By: Fishysam/Getty Images

Photo By: Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Photo By: Emily Hoefman/EyeEm/Getty Images

Photo By: M.Czosnek/Getty Images

Photo By: Caymia/Getty Images

What To Know Before You Fire Up the Grill

Barbecue season is in full swing! It can&rsquot get any better than the aroma of juicy burgers and sizzle of vegetables on the grill. With grilling season also comes the threat of foodborne illness which can spoil all the fun. Here are the top 10 biggest food safety mistakes often made &mdash and simple ways you can keep your barbecue favorites safe.

Defrosting Your Proteins Incorrectly

Whether you choose to defrost your frozen chicken, beef or fish on the counter top overnight, or worse, leave it out to defrost in the hot sun, you&rsquore asking for trouble. Harmful bacteria can multiply at room temperature to levels that can make you sick (even if you cook the food properly). Those same bacteria will multiply even more rapidly in much warmer temperatures, like on a hot 90-degree day.

Instead: Plan ahead. Defrost your proteins in the refrigerator one or two days before you barbecue it.

Storing Uncooked Meats On Top of Ready-to-Eat Foods

Food safety isn&rsquot just about cooking on the grill, but all the steps leading up to making that food. When defrosting meat, poultry and fish or storing uncooked proteins in the refrigerator, the last thing you want is juices from ground beef dripping on your fresh watermelon. This is a form of cross-contamination.

Instead: Store raw meat, poultry and fish on the bottom of your refrigerator or in a crisper drawer. You can also wrap it in a plastic bag to prevent any juices from leaking.

Using the Same Cutting Boards for Everything

Although it may be nice to save dishes, cutting the raw chicken on the same cutting board as your fruit and vegetables is a recipe for disaster. This is a common mistake known as cross-contamination, which can easily transfer the bacteria from your raw meats to your cooked produce.

Instead: Use separate cutting boards for raw meats, poultry and fish and ready-to-eat foods like produce and cheese.

Marinating At Room Temperature

Marinating meat, chicken, and fish adds flavor and makes your protein tender. Those acidic marinades can also help slow down any bacterial growth. A big faux pas is marinating your food uncovered at room temperature or outdoors in the heat. Bacteria love those warm temperatures, multiplying to amounts that can make someone sick.

Instead: Marinate your food covered in the refrigerator, and toss out any extra marinade that touched the raw meat, chicken or fish.

Packing Raw Meats with Raw Fruits and Vegetables

If you&rsquore packing for a barbecue, you&rsquoll oftentimes find yourself packing the raw chicken and burger patties with the fresh broccoli (for a broccoli slaw). Once again, those bacteria in the raw meats can easily find their way onto the raw vegetables which don't get cooked and the bacteria don't get destroyed.

Instead: Have two coolers available, one for raw meats and one for raw fruits, vegetables and other prepared foods.

Transporting Food in the Trunk

Find yourself packing your car with the food in the trunk? That is the hottest place in the car &mdash and harmful bacteria love those temperatures in order to multiply.

Instead: Transport food in the passenger part of the car, where it is a bit cooler (especially with air conditioning).

Eyeballing Doneness

It may seem easier to look at your meat to see if it's done, but that isn&rsquot the most accurate way. Checking your chicken or burger if they&rsquore no longer pink doesn&rsquot mean you&rsquove reached the proper temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria.

Instead: Invest a food thermometer (they start at around $10). Meat thermometers will have built in temperatures guides so you will know when your meat, chicken, or fish is done.

Using Same Plates for Raw and Cooked Meats

Many folks use the same dish and tongs or other utensils for raw burgers, for example, and cooked burgers. If you&rsquore using the same dish or utensils for raw and cooked meats, poultry or fish, you can unknowingly cross-contaminate the bacteria from the raw to cooked foods.

Instead: To avoid cross-contamination be prepared by having separate dishes and utensils for your raw and cooked foods.

Cooking Mass Amount of Meat At Once

A big barbecue calls for lots of grilled foods: hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, vegetables and fish. Many hosts grill up everything at the beginning, so the food will be ready when everyone arrives. But not everyone arrives at the same time and a few hours later, after the food has been sitting in the hot sun, folks may head for second or third helpings grabbing from that old pile of meats.

Instead: Prepare food in small batches. Keep raw meats in the cooler until they&rsquore ready for the barbecue.

Leaving Leftovers Out All Day

It&rsquos not only about leaving meats out all day, but all those salads slathered with mayonnaise get left outside at temperatures bacteria love to grow in. Sliced fruit, vegetables and prepared salads should be kept refrigerated. If leftovers are left out, then it should be no longer than one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees F or above, and no longer than two hours if it&rsquos less than 90 degrees F.

Instead: Keep the time on the clock so you know how long food is left out. To minimize food waste, serve food in small batches and keep extras refrigerated until use.


10 Biggest Food Safety Mistakes People Make at a Barbecue

Make sure your backyard barbecue is delicious — and totally safe!

Related To:

Photo By: Mint Images/Getty Images

Photo By: The Picture Pantry/Getty Images

Photo By: A_Namenko/Getty Images

Photo By: Andia/Contributor/Getty Images

Photo By: Elenathewise/Getty Images

Photo By: Maroke/Getty Images

Photo By: Fishysam/Getty Images

Photo By: Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Photo By: Emily Hoefman/EyeEm/Getty Images

Photo By: M.Czosnek/Getty Images

Photo By: Caymia/Getty Images

What To Know Before You Fire Up the Grill

Barbecue season is in full swing! It can&rsquot get any better than the aroma of juicy burgers and sizzle of vegetables on the grill. With grilling season also comes the threat of foodborne illness which can spoil all the fun. Here are the top 10 biggest food safety mistakes often made &mdash and simple ways you can keep your barbecue favorites safe.

Defrosting Your Proteins Incorrectly

Whether you choose to defrost your frozen chicken, beef or fish on the counter top overnight, or worse, leave it out to defrost in the hot sun, you&rsquore asking for trouble. Harmful bacteria can multiply at room temperature to levels that can make you sick (even if you cook the food properly). Those same bacteria will multiply even more rapidly in much warmer temperatures, like on a hot 90-degree day.

Instead: Plan ahead. Defrost your proteins in the refrigerator one or two days before you barbecue it.

Storing Uncooked Meats On Top of Ready-to-Eat Foods

Food safety isn&rsquot just about cooking on the grill, but all the steps leading up to making that food. When defrosting meat, poultry and fish or storing uncooked proteins in the refrigerator, the last thing you want is juices from ground beef dripping on your fresh watermelon. This is a form of cross-contamination.

Instead: Store raw meat, poultry and fish on the bottom of your refrigerator or in a crisper drawer. You can also wrap it in a plastic bag to prevent any juices from leaking.

Using the Same Cutting Boards for Everything

Although it may be nice to save dishes, cutting the raw chicken on the same cutting board as your fruit and vegetables is a recipe for disaster. This is a common mistake known as cross-contamination, which can easily transfer the bacteria from your raw meats to your cooked produce.

Instead: Use separate cutting boards for raw meats, poultry and fish and ready-to-eat foods like produce and cheese.

Marinating At Room Temperature

Marinating meat, chicken, and fish adds flavor and makes your protein tender. Those acidic marinades can also help slow down any bacterial growth. A big faux pas is marinating your food uncovered at room temperature or outdoors in the heat. Bacteria love those warm temperatures, multiplying to amounts that can make someone sick.

Instead: Marinate your food covered in the refrigerator, and toss out any extra marinade that touched the raw meat, chicken or fish.

Packing Raw Meats with Raw Fruits and Vegetables

If you&rsquore packing for a barbecue, you&rsquoll oftentimes find yourself packing the raw chicken and burger patties with the fresh broccoli (for a broccoli slaw). Once again, those bacteria in the raw meats can easily find their way onto the raw vegetables which don't get cooked and the bacteria don't get destroyed.

Instead: Have two coolers available, one for raw meats and one for raw fruits, vegetables and other prepared foods.

Transporting Food in the Trunk

Find yourself packing your car with the food in the trunk? That is the hottest place in the car &mdash and harmful bacteria love those temperatures in order to multiply.

Instead: Transport food in the passenger part of the car, where it is a bit cooler (especially with air conditioning).

Eyeballing Doneness

It may seem easier to look at your meat to see if it's done, but that isn&rsquot the most accurate way. Checking your chicken or burger if they&rsquore no longer pink doesn&rsquot mean you&rsquove reached the proper temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria.

Instead: Invest a food thermometer (they start at around $10). Meat thermometers will have built in temperatures guides so you will know when your meat, chicken, or fish is done.

Using Same Plates for Raw and Cooked Meats

Many folks use the same dish and tongs or other utensils for raw burgers, for example, and cooked burgers. If you&rsquore using the same dish or utensils for raw and cooked meats, poultry or fish, you can unknowingly cross-contaminate the bacteria from the raw to cooked foods.

Instead: To avoid cross-contamination be prepared by having separate dishes and utensils for your raw and cooked foods.

Cooking Mass Amount of Meat At Once

A big barbecue calls for lots of grilled foods: hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, vegetables and fish. Many hosts grill up everything at the beginning, so the food will be ready when everyone arrives. But not everyone arrives at the same time and a few hours later, after the food has been sitting in the hot sun, folks may head for second or third helpings grabbing from that old pile of meats.

Instead: Prepare food in small batches. Keep raw meats in the cooler until they&rsquore ready for the barbecue.

Leaving Leftovers Out All Day

It&rsquos not only about leaving meats out all day, but all those salads slathered with mayonnaise get left outside at temperatures bacteria love to grow in. Sliced fruit, vegetables and prepared salads should be kept refrigerated. If leftovers are left out, then it should be no longer than one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees F or above, and no longer than two hours if it&rsquos less than 90 degrees F.

Instead: Keep the time on the clock so you know how long food is left out. To minimize food waste, serve food in small batches and keep extras refrigerated until use.


10 Biggest Food Safety Mistakes People Make at a Barbecue

Make sure your backyard barbecue is delicious — and totally safe!

Related To:

Photo By: Mint Images/Getty Images

Photo By: The Picture Pantry/Getty Images

Photo By: A_Namenko/Getty Images

Photo By: Andia/Contributor/Getty Images

Photo By: Elenathewise/Getty Images

Photo By: Maroke/Getty Images

Photo By: Fishysam/Getty Images

Photo By: Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Photo By: Emily Hoefman/EyeEm/Getty Images

Photo By: M.Czosnek/Getty Images

Photo By: Caymia/Getty Images

What To Know Before You Fire Up the Grill

Barbecue season is in full swing! It can&rsquot get any better than the aroma of juicy burgers and sizzle of vegetables on the grill. With grilling season also comes the threat of foodborne illness which can spoil all the fun. Here are the top 10 biggest food safety mistakes often made &mdash and simple ways you can keep your barbecue favorites safe.

Defrosting Your Proteins Incorrectly

Whether you choose to defrost your frozen chicken, beef or fish on the counter top overnight, or worse, leave it out to defrost in the hot sun, you&rsquore asking for trouble. Harmful bacteria can multiply at room temperature to levels that can make you sick (even if you cook the food properly). Those same bacteria will multiply even more rapidly in much warmer temperatures, like on a hot 90-degree day.

Instead: Plan ahead. Defrost your proteins in the refrigerator one or two days before you barbecue it.

Storing Uncooked Meats On Top of Ready-to-Eat Foods

Food safety isn&rsquot just about cooking on the grill, but all the steps leading up to making that food. When defrosting meat, poultry and fish or storing uncooked proteins in the refrigerator, the last thing you want is juices from ground beef dripping on your fresh watermelon. This is a form of cross-contamination.

Instead: Store raw meat, poultry and fish on the bottom of your refrigerator or in a crisper drawer. You can also wrap it in a plastic bag to prevent any juices from leaking.

Using the Same Cutting Boards for Everything

Although it may be nice to save dishes, cutting the raw chicken on the same cutting board as your fruit and vegetables is a recipe for disaster. This is a common mistake known as cross-contamination, which can easily transfer the bacteria from your raw meats to your cooked produce.

Instead: Use separate cutting boards for raw meats, poultry and fish and ready-to-eat foods like produce and cheese.

Marinating At Room Temperature

Marinating meat, chicken, and fish adds flavor and makes your protein tender. Those acidic marinades can also help slow down any bacterial growth. A big faux pas is marinating your food uncovered at room temperature or outdoors in the heat. Bacteria love those warm temperatures, multiplying to amounts that can make someone sick.

Instead: Marinate your food covered in the refrigerator, and toss out any extra marinade that touched the raw meat, chicken or fish.

Packing Raw Meats with Raw Fruits and Vegetables

If you&rsquore packing for a barbecue, you&rsquoll oftentimes find yourself packing the raw chicken and burger patties with the fresh broccoli (for a broccoli slaw). Once again, those bacteria in the raw meats can easily find their way onto the raw vegetables which don't get cooked and the bacteria don't get destroyed.

Instead: Have two coolers available, one for raw meats and one for raw fruits, vegetables and other prepared foods.

Transporting Food in the Trunk

Find yourself packing your car with the food in the trunk? That is the hottest place in the car &mdash and harmful bacteria love those temperatures in order to multiply.

Instead: Transport food in the passenger part of the car, where it is a bit cooler (especially with air conditioning).

Eyeballing Doneness

It may seem easier to look at your meat to see if it's done, but that isn&rsquot the most accurate way. Checking your chicken or burger if they&rsquore no longer pink doesn&rsquot mean you&rsquove reached the proper temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria.

Instead: Invest a food thermometer (they start at around $10). Meat thermometers will have built in temperatures guides so you will know when your meat, chicken, or fish is done.

Using Same Plates for Raw and Cooked Meats

Many folks use the same dish and tongs or other utensils for raw burgers, for example, and cooked burgers. If you&rsquore using the same dish or utensils for raw and cooked meats, poultry or fish, you can unknowingly cross-contaminate the bacteria from the raw to cooked foods.

Instead: To avoid cross-contamination be prepared by having separate dishes and utensils for your raw and cooked foods.

Cooking Mass Amount of Meat At Once

A big barbecue calls for lots of grilled foods: hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, vegetables and fish. Many hosts grill up everything at the beginning, so the food will be ready when everyone arrives. But not everyone arrives at the same time and a few hours later, after the food has been sitting in the hot sun, folks may head for second or third helpings grabbing from that old pile of meats.

Instead: Prepare food in small batches. Keep raw meats in the cooler until they&rsquore ready for the barbecue.

Leaving Leftovers Out All Day

It&rsquos not only about leaving meats out all day, but all those salads slathered with mayonnaise get left outside at temperatures bacteria love to grow in. Sliced fruit, vegetables and prepared salads should be kept refrigerated. If leftovers are left out, then it should be no longer than one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees F or above, and no longer than two hours if it&rsquos less than 90 degrees F.

Instead: Keep the time on the clock so you know how long food is left out. To minimize food waste, serve food in small batches and keep extras refrigerated until use.


10 Biggest Food Safety Mistakes People Make at a Barbecue

Make sure your backyard barbecue is delicious — and totally safe!

Related To:

Photo By: Mint Images/Getty Images

Photo By: The Picture Pantry/Getty Images

Photo By: A_Namenko/Getty Images

Photo By: Andia/Contributor/Getty Images

Photo By: Elenathewise/Getty Images

Photo By: Maroke/Getty Images

Photo By: Fishysam/Getty Images

Photo By: Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Photo By: Emily Hoefman/EyeEm/Getty Images

Photo By: M.Czosnek/Getty Images

Photo By: Caymia/Getty Images

What To Know Before You Fire Up the Grill

Barbecue season is in full swing! It can&rsquot get any better than the aroma of juicy burgers and sizzle of vegetables on the grill. With grilling season also comes the threat of foodborne illness which can spoil all the fun. Here are the top 10 biggest food safety mistakes often made &mdash and simple ways you can keep your barbecue favorites safe.

Defrosting Your Proteins Incorrectly

Whether you choose to defrost your frozen chicken, beef or fish on the counter top overnight, or worse, leave it out to defrost in the hot sun, you&rsquore asking for trouble. Harmful bacteria can multiply at room temperature to levels that can make you sick (even if you cook the food properly). Those same bacteria will multiply even more rapidly in much warmer temperatures, like on a hot 90-degree day.

Instead: Plan ahead. Defrost your proteins in the refrigerator one or two days before you barbecue it.

Storing Uncooked Meats On Top of Ready-to-Eat Foods

Food safety isn&rsquot just about cooking on the grill, but all the steps leading up to making that food. When defrosting meat, poultry and fish or storing uncooked proteins in the refrigerator, the last thing you want is juices from ground beef dripping on your fresh watermelon. This is a form of cross-contamination.

Instead: Store raw meat, poultry and fish on the bottom of your refrigerator or in a crisper drawer. You can also wrap it in a plastic bag to prevent any juices from leaking.

Using the Same Cutting Boards for Everything

Although it may be nice to save dishes, cutting the raw chicken on the same cutting board as your fruit and vegetables is a recipe for disaster. This is a common mistake known as cross-contamination, which can easily transfer the bacteria from your raw meats to your cooked produce.

Instead: Use separate cutting boards for raw meats, poultry and fish and ready-to-eat foods like produce and cheese.

Marinating At Room Temperature

Marinating meat, chicken, and fish adds flavor and makes your protein tender. Those acidic marinades can also help slow down any bacterial growth. A big faux pas is marinating your food uncovered at room temperature or outdoors in the heat. Bacteria love those warm temperatures, multiplying to amounts that can make someone sick.

Instead: Marinate your food covered in the refrigerator, and toss out any extra marinade that touched the raw meat, chicken or fish.

Packing Raw Meats with Raw Fruits and Vegetables

If you&rsquore packing for a barbecue, you&rsquoll oftentimes find yourself packing the raw chicken and burger patties with the fresh broccoli (for a broccoli slaw). Once again, those bacteria in the raw meats can easily find their way onto the raw vegetables which don't get cooked and the bacteria don't get destroyed.

Instead: Have two coolers available, one for raw meats and one for raw fruits, vegetables and other prepared foods.

Transporting Food in the Trunk

Find yourself packing your car with the food in the trunk? That is the hottest place in the car &mdash and harmful bacteria love those temperatures in order to multiply.

Instead: Transport food in the passenger part of the car, where it is a bit cooler (especially with air conditioning).

Eyeballing Doneness

It may seem easier to look at your meat to see if it's done, but that isn&rsquot the most accurate way. Checking your chicken or burger if they&rsquore no longer pink doesn&rsquot mean you&rsquove reached the proper temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria.

Instead: Invest a food thermometer (they start at around $10). Meat thermometers will have built in temperatures guides so you will know when your meat, chicken, or fish is done.

Using Same Plates for Raw and Cooked Meats

Many folks use the same dish and tongs or other utensils for raw burgers, for example, and cooked burgers. If you&rsquore using the same dish or utensils for raw and cooked meats, poultry or fish, you can unknowingly cross-contaminate the bacteria from the raw to cooked foods.

Instead: To avoid cross-contamination be prepared by having separate dishes and utensils for your raw and cooked foods.

Cooking Mass Amount of Meat At Once

A big barbecue calls for lots of grilled foods: hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, vegetables and fish. Many hosts grill up everything at the beginning, so the food will be ready when everyone arrives. But not everyone arrives at the same time and a few hours later, after the food has been sitting in the hot sun, folks may head for second or third helpings grabbing from that old pile of meats.

Instead: Prepare food in small batches. Keep raw meats in the cooler until they&rsquore ready for the barbecue.

Leaving Leftovers Out All Day

It&rsquos not only about leaving meats out all day, but all those salads slathered with mayonnaise get left outside at temperatures bacteria love to grow in. Sliced fruit, vegetables and prepared salads should be kept refrigerated. If leftovers are left out, then it should be no longer than one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees F or above, and no longer than two hours if it&rsquos less than 90 degrees F.

Instead: Keep the time on the clock so you know how long food is left out. To minimize food waste, serve food in small batches and keep extras refrigerated until use.


10 Biggest Food Safety Mistakes People Make at a Barbecue

Make sure your backyard barbecue is delicious — and totally safe!

Related To:

Photo By: Mint Images/Getty Images

Photo By: The Picture Pantry/Getty Images

Photo By: A_Namenko/Getty Images

Photo By: Andia/Contributor/Getty Images

Photo By: Elenathewise/Getty Images

Photo By: Maroke/Getty Images

Photo By: Fishysam/Getty Images

Photo By: Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Photo By: Emily Hoefman/EyeEm/Getty Images

Photo By: M.Czosnek/Getty Images

Photo By: Caymia/Getty Images

What To Know Before You Fire Up the Grill

Barbecue season is in full swing! It can&rsquot get any better than the aroma of juicy burgers and sizzle of vegetables on the grill. With grilling season also comes the threat of foodborne illness which can spoil all the fun. Here are the top 10 biggest food safety mistakes often made &mdash and simple ways you can keep your barbecue favorites safe.

Defrosting Your Proteins Incorrectly

Whether you choose to defrost your frozen chicken, beef or fish on the counter top overnight, or worse, leave it out to defrost in the hot sun, you&rsquore asking for trouble. Harmful bacteria can multiply at room temperature to levels that can make you sick (even if you cook the food properly). Those same bacteria will multiply even more rapidly in much warmer temperatures, like on a hot 90-degree day.

Instead: Plan ahead. Defrost your proteins in the refrigerator one or two days before you barbecue it.

Storing Uncooked Meats On Top of Ready-to-Eat Foods

Food safety isn&rsquot just about cooking on the grill, but all the steps leading up to making that food. When defrosting meat, poultry and fish or storing uncooked proteins in the refrigerator, the last thing you want is juices from ground beef dripping on your fresh watermelon. This is a form of cross-contamination.

Instead: Store raw meat, poultry and fish on the bottom of your refrigerator or in a crisper drawer. You can also wrap it in a plastic bag to prevent any juices from leaking.

Using the Same Cutting Boards for Everything

Although it may be nice to save dishes, cutting the raw chicken on the same cutting board as your fruit and vegetables is a recipe for disaster. This is a common mistake known as cross-contamination, which can easily transfer the bacteria from your raw meats to your cooked produce.

Instead: Use separate cutting boards for raw meats, poultry and fish and ready-to-eat foods like produce and cheese.

Marinating At Room Temperature

Marinating meat, chicken, and fish adds flavor and makes your protein tender. Those acidic marinades can also help slow down any bacterial growth. A big faux pas is marinating your food uncovered at room temperature or outdoors in the heat. Bacteria love those warm temperatures, multiplying to amounts that can make someone sick.

Instead: Marinate your food covered in the refrigerator, and toss out any extra marinade that touched the raw meat, chicken or fish.

Packing Raw Meats with Raw Fruits and Vegetables

If you&rsquore packing for a barbecue, you&rsquoll oftentimes find yourself packing the raw chicken and burger patties with the fresh broccoli (for a broccoli slaw). Once again, those bacteria in the raw meats can easily find their way onto the raw vegetables which don't get cooked and the bacteria don't get destroyed.

Instead: Have two coolers available, one for raw meats and one for raw fruits, vegetables and other prepared foods.

Transporting Food in the Trunk

Find yourself packing your car with the food in the trunk? That is the hottest place in the car &mdash and harmful bacteria love those temperatures in order to multiply.

Instead: Transport food in the passenger part of the car, where it is a bit cooler (especially with air conditioning).

Eyeballing Doneness

It may seem easier to look at your meat to see if it's done, but that isn&rsquot the most accurate way. Checking your chicken or burger if they&rsquore no longer pink doesn&rsquot mean you&rsquove reached the proper temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria.

Instead: Invest a food thermometer (they start at around $10). Meat thermometers will have built in temperatures guides so you will know when your meat, chicken, or fish is done.

Using Same Plates for Raw and Cooked Meats

Many folks use the same dish and tongs or other utensils for raw burgers, for example, and cooked burgers. If you&rsquore using the same dish or utensils for raw and cooked meats, poultry or fish, you can unknowingly cross-contaminate the bacteria from the raw to cooked foods.

Instead: To avoid cross-contamination be prepared by having separate dishes and utensils for your raw and cooked foods.

Cooking Mass Amount of Meat At Once

A big barbecue calls for lots of grilled foods: hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, vegetables and fish. Many hosts grill up everything at the beginning, so the food will be ready when everyone arrives. But not everyone arrives at the same time and a few hours later, after the food has been sitting in the hot sun, folks may head for second or third helpings grabbing from that old pile of meats.

Instead: Prepare food in small batches. Keep raw meats in the cooler until they&rsquore ready for the barbecue.

Leaving Leftovers Out All Day

It&rsquos not only about leaving meats out all day, but all those salads slathered with mayonnaise get left outside at temperatures bacteria love to grow in. Sliced fruit, vegetables and prepared salads should be kept refrigerated. If leftovers are left out, then it should be no longer than one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees F or above, and no longer than two hours if it&rsquos less than 90 degrees F.

Instead: Keep the time on the clock so you know how long food is left out. To minimize food waste, serve food in small batches and keep extras refrigerated until use.


10 Biggest Food Safety Mistakes People Make at a Barbecue

Make sure your backyard barbecue is delicious — and totally safe!

Related To:

Photo By: Mint Images/Getty Images

Photo By: The Picture Pantry/Getty Images

Photo By: A_Namenko/Getty Images

Photo By: Andia/Contributor/Getty Images

Photo By: Elenathewise/Getty Images

Photo By: Maroke/Getty Images

Photo By: Fishysam/Getty Images

Photo By: Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Photo By: Emily Hoefman/EyeEm/Getty Images

Photo By: M.Czosnek/Getty Images

Photo By: Caymia/Getty Images

What To Know Before You Fire Up the Grill

Barbecue season is in full swing! It can&rsquot get any better than the aroma of juicy burgers and sizzle of vegetables on the grill. With grilling season also comes the threat of foodborne illness which can spoil all the fun. Here are the top 10 biggest food safety mistakes often made &mdash and simple ways you can keep your barbecue favorites safe.

Defrosting Your Proteins Incorrectly

Whether you choose to defrost your frozen chicken, beef or fish on the counter top overnight, or worse, leave it out to defrost in the hot sun, you&rsquore asking for trouble. Harmful bacteria can multiply at room temperature to levels that can make you sick (even if you cook the food properly). Those same bacteria will multiply even more rapidly in much warmer temperatures, like on a hot 90-degree day.

Instead: Plan ahead. Defrost your proteins in the refrigerator one or two days before you barbecue it.

Storing Uncooked Meats On Top of Ready-to-Eat Foods

Food safety isn&rsquot just about cooking on the grill, but all the steps leading up to making that food. When defrosting meat, poultry and fish or storing uncooked proteins in the refrigerator, the last thing you want is juices from ground beef dripping on your fresh watermelon. This is a form of cross-contamination.

Instead: Store raw meat, poultry and fish on the bottom of your refrigerator or in a crisper drawer. You can also wrap it in a plastic bag to prevent any juices from leaking.

Using the Same Cutting Boards for Everything

Although it may be nice to save dishes, cutting the raw chicken on the same cutting board as your fruit and vegetables is a recipe for disaster. This is a common mistake known as cross-contamination, which can easily transfer the bacteria from your raw meats to your cooked produce.

Instead: Use separate cutting boards for raw meats, poultry and fish and ready-to-eat foods like produce and cheese.

Marinating At Room Temperature

Marinating meat, chicken, and fish adds flavor and makes your protein tender. Those acidic marinades can also help slow down any bacterial growth. A big faux pas is marinating your food uncovered at room temperature or outdoors in the heat. Bacteria love those warm temperatures, multiplying to amounts that can make someone sick.

Instead: Marinate your food covered in the refrigerator, and toss out any extra marinade that touched the raw meat, chicken or fish.

Packing Raw Meats with Raw Fruits and Vegetables

If you&rsquore packing for a barbecue, you&rsquoll oftentimes find yourself packing the raw chicken and burger patties with the fresh broccoli (for a broccoli slaw). Once again, those bacteria in the raw meats can easily find their way onto the raw vegetables which don't get cooked and the bacteria don't get destroyed.

Instead: Have two coolers available, one for raw meats and one for raw fruits, vegetables and other prepared foods.

Transporting Food in the Trunk

Find yourself packing your car with the food in the trunk? That is the hottest place in the car &mdash and harmful bacteria love those temperatures in order to multiply.

Instead: Transport food in the passenger part of the car, where it is a bit cooler (especially with air conditioning).

Eyeballing Doneness

It may seem easier to look at your meat to see if it's done, but that isn&rsquot the most accurate way. Checking your chicken or burger if they&rsquore no longer pink doesn&rsquot mean you&rsquove reached the proper temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria.

Instead: Invest a food thermometer (they start at around $10). Meat thermometers will have built in temperatures guides so you will know when your meat, chicken, or fish is done.

Using Same Plates for Raw and Cooked Meats

Many folks use the same dish and tongs or other utensils for raw burgers, for example, and cooked burgers. If you&rsquore using the same dish or utensils for raw and cooked meats, poultry or fish, you can unknowingly cross-contaminate the bacteria from the raw to cooked foods.

Instead: To avoid cross-contamination be prepared by having separate dishes and utensils for your raw and cooked foods.

Cooking Mass Amount of Meat At Once

A big barbecue calls for lots of grilled foods: hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, vegetables and fish. Many hosts grill up everything at the beginning, so the food will be ready when everyone arrives. But not everyone arrives at the same time and a few hours later, after the food has been sitting in the hot sun, folks may head for second or third helpings grabbing from that old pile of meats.

Instead: Prepare food in small batches. Keep raw meats in the cooler until they&rsquore ready for the barbecue.

Leaving Leftovers Out All Day

It&rsquos not only about leaving meats out all day, but all those salads slathered with mayonnaise get left outside at temperatures bacteria love to grow in. Sliced fruit, vegetables and prepared salads should be kept refrigerated. If leftovers are left out, then it should be no longer than one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees F or above, and no longer than two hours if it&rsquos less than 90 degrees F.

Instead: Keep the time on the clock so you know how long food is left out. To minimize food waste, serve food in small batches and keep extras refrigerated until use.


10 Biggest Food Safety Mistakes People Make at a Barbecue

Make sure your backyard barbecue is delicious — and totally safe!

Related To:

Photo By: Mint Images/Getty Images

Photo By: The Picture Pantry/Getty Images

Photo By: A_Namenko/Getty Images

Photo By: Andia/Contributor/Getty Images

Photo By: Elenathewise/Getty Images

Photo By: Maroke/Getty Images

Photo By: Fishysam/Getty Images

Photo By: Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Photo By: Emily Hoefman/EyeEm/Getty Images

Photo By: M.Czosnek/Getty Images

Photo By: Caymia/Getty Images

What To Know Before You Fire Up the Grill

Barbecue season is in full swing! It can&rsquot get any better than the aroma of juicy burgers and sizzle of vegetables on the grill. With grilling season also comes the threat of foodborne illness which can spoil all the fun. Here are the top 10 biggest food safety mistakes often made &mdash and simple ways you can keep your barbecue favorites safe.

Defrosting Your Proteins Incorrectly

Whether you choose to defrost your frozen chicken, beef or fish on the counter top overnight, or worse, leave it out to defrost in the hot sun, you&rsquore asking for trouble. Harmful bacteria can multiply at room temperature to levels that can make you sick (even if you cook the food properly). Those same bacteria will multiply even more rapidly in much warmer temperatures, like on a hot 90-degree day.

Instead: Plan ahead. Defrost your proteins in the refrigerator one or two days before you barbecue it.

Storing Uncooked Meats On Top of Ready-to-Eat Foods

Food safety isn&rsquot just about cooking on the grill, but all the steps leading up to making that food. When defrosting meat, poultry and fish or storing uncooked proteins in the refrigerator, the last thing you want is juices from ground beef dripping on your fresh watermelon. This is a form of cross-contamination.

Instead: Store raw meat, poultry and fish on the bottom of your refrigerator or in a crisper drawer. You can also wrap it in a plastic bag to prevent any juices from leaking.

Using the Same Cutting Boards for Everything

Although it may be nice to save dishes, cutting the raw chicken on the same cutting board as your fruit and vegetables is a recipe for disaster. This is a common mistake known as cross-contamination, which can easily transfer the bacteria from your raw meats to your cooked produce.

Instead: Use separate cutting boards for raw meats, poultry and fish and ready-to-eat foods like produce and cheese.

Marinating At Room Temperature

Marinating meat, chicken, and fish adds flavor and makes your protein tender. Those acidic marinades can also help slow down any bacterial growth. A big faux pas is marinating your food uncovered at room temperature or outdoors in the heat. Bacteria love those warm temperatures, multiplying to amounts that can make someone sick.

Instead: Marinate your food covered in the refrigerator, and toss out any extra marinade that touched the raw meat, chicken or fish.

Packing Raw Meats with Raw Fruits and Vegetables

If you&rsquore packing for a barbecue, you&rsquoll oftentimes find yourself packing the raw chicken and burger patties with the fresh broccoli (for a broccoli slaw). Once again, those bacteria in the raw meats can easily find their way onto the raw vegetables which don't get cooked and the bacteria don't get destroyed.

Instead: Have two coolers available, one for raw meats and one for raw fruits, vegetables and other prepared foods.

Transporting Food in the Trunk

Find yourself packing your car with the food in the trunk? That is the hottest place in the car &mdash and harmful bacteria love those temperatures in order to multiply.

Instead: Transport food in the passenger part of the car, where it is a bit cooler (especially with air conditioning).

Eyeballing Doneness

It may seem easier to look at your meat to see if it's done, but that isn&rsquot the most accurate way. Checking your chicken or burger if they&rsquore no longer pink doesn&rsquot mean you&rsquove reached the proper temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria.

Instead: Invest a food thermometer (they start at around $10). Meat thermometers will have built in temperatures guides so you will know when your meat, chicken, or fish is done.

Using Same Plates for Raw and Cooked Meats

Many folks use the same dish and tongs or other utensils for raw burgers, for example, and cooked burgers. If you&rsquore using the same dish or utensils for raw and cooked meats, poultry or fish, you can unknowingly cross-contaminate the bacteria from the raw to cooked foods.

Instead: To avoid cross-contamination be prepared by having separate dishes and utensils for your raw and cooked foods.

Cooking Mass Amount of Meat At Once

A big barbecue calls for lots of grilled foods: hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, vegetables and fish. Many hosts grill up everything at the beginning, so the food will be ready when everyone arrives. But not everyone arrives at the same time and a few hours later, after the food has been sitting in the hot sun, folks may head for second or third helpings grabbing from that old pile of meats.

Instead: Prepare food in small batches. Keep raw meats in the cooler until they&rsquore ready for the barbecue.

Leaving Leftovers Out All Day

It&rsquos not only about leaving meats out all day, but all those salads slathered with mayonnaise get left outside at temperatures bacteria love to grow in. Sliced fruit, vegetables and prepared salads should be kept refrigerated. If leftovers are left out, then it should be no longer than one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees F or above, and no longer than two hours if it&rsquos less than 90 degrees F.

Instead: Keep the time on the clock so you know how long food is left out. To minimize food waste, serve food in small batches and keep extras refrigerated until use.



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