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We know we only have a few more weeks left of summer BBQs, but with Labor Day just around the corner, we wanted to include an article this month on food safety tips to ensure those last evenings out with the grill are safe and fun. Here are a few tips from the Food Network, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and your healthcare providers at Horizon Family Medical Group:

  1. Cook your meat thoroughly. [1] Undercooked food is one of the leading causes of the post-BBQ food poisoning. If you don’t have one, consider getting a meat thermometer. And knowing how hot each type of meat should get is important. Here’s a great Food Cooking Temperature graphic from the FDA:
    Safe Cooking Temperatures
  2. Watch the clock. Most food shouldn’t be left out for more than about 2 hours. If the temperature is above 90 degrees, that timeframe drops to about an hour. So, if that potato salad has been sitting out for a few hours on a hot, summer day, probably best to skip it this time around. [2]
  3. Wash your hands. Handling raw meats during the grilling process can create a problem if we fail to wash our hands. We don’t want meat juices contaminating the rest of the meal.
  4. Switch platters/plates. Use different plates for raw meat and cooked meat. Putting a cooked burger on the raw meat tray is asking for trouble.
  5. Pack the cooler the smart way. First, make sure your cooler actually stays cold. And don’t pack raw meat on top, in case it leaks onto other food.


Have fun out there!


  1. https://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm109899.htm
  2. http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2012/06/22/10-summer-food-safety-tips/
  3. https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/UCM239489.pdf