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Grillmasters Get a Food Safety Lesson
Two Sides of Grilled Food
- Trim the fat. PAHs are formed when fat drips onto hot coals. Flames and smoke redeposit PAHs onto the food. To minimize the PAHs from forming, trim as much fat as you can from the meat.
- Marinate. HCAs are produced when meat is grilled or cooked at high temperatures causing charring. Some studies suggest that marinating meat before grilling may reduce the formation of HCAs.
- Precook. Pop the meat in the microwave to partially cook it before grilling.
- Use smaller cuts of meat. Smaller cuts take less time to grill. You can also flip your food often, which can further shorten grilling time.
- Remove charred parts. After grilling, cut off any charred parts from the meat.
- Eat your fruits and veggies. Add variety to your meals by grilling fruits and veggies instead of meat. Vegetables do not produce HCAs.
- Frequently wash your hands and surfaces. This can prevent cross-contamination of bacteria, such as Escherichia coli ( E. coli ) infection.
- Use separate plates. Use one cutting board for raw meats and a clean one for other foods in order to reduce bacteria crossover. Be sure to use separate plates, utensils, and platters for raw and cooked foods. For instance, if the raw steaks are carried out on a platter and tongs are used for placing them on the grill, you must use a new clean platter and tongs for taking the cooked steaks off the grill when they are done.
- Keep the temperatures appropriate. Meats should be refrigerated while marinating and up to the point of being cooked. When the grilling starts, be sure the internal temperature of meats is appropriate to kill bacteria. Use a meat thermometer to check internal temperatures. Leftovers should be refrigerated immediately and tossed if left out more than one hour in hot temperatures.
|Cooked whole poultry||165°F|
|Cooked chicken breasts||165°F|
|Cooked ground meat||160°F|
|Cooked beef, veal, lamb roasts, and chops||145°-160°F|
|All cuts of cooked pork||145°F|
A Simple Meal on the Grill
Marinated Flank Steak
|Cooking oil||1/3 cup|
|Soy sauce||1/3 cup|
|Red wine vinegar||1/3 cup|
|Lemon juice||2 tablespoons|
|Worcestershire sauce||1 tablespoon|
|Dry mustard||1 teaspoon|
Corn on the Cob
Warm Garlic Bread
Grilled Fruit Kabobs
|Melted butter||1/4 cup|
|Brown sugar||2 tablespoons|
|Fresh lime for grated lime rind and lime juice||1 fresh lime|
American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics http://www.eatright.org
Food Safety http://www.foodsafety.gov
Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
A backyard chef's guide to healthy grilling. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/features/a-backyard-chefs-guide-to-healthy-grilling . Updated May 20, 2013. Accessed September 24, 2013.
Barbecue and food safety. US Department of Agriculture website. Available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/d468f3d9-fb6c-4109-88d7-2931f7132098/Barbecue%5FFood%5FSafety.pdf?MOD=AJPERES . Updated May 2011. Accessed September 24, 2013.
By types of food. Food Safety website. Available at: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/types . Accessed September 24, 2013.
Chemicals in meat cooked at high temperatures and cancer risk. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cooked-meats . Updated October 15, 2010. Accessed September 24, 2013.
McDonald's USA nutrition facts for popular menu items. McDonald's website. Available at: http://www.nutrition.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/nutritionfacts.pdf . Accessed September 24, 2013.
Safe minimum cooking temperatures. Food Safety website. Available at: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html . Accessed September 24, 2013.
Salmon CP, Knize MG, Felton JS. Effects of marinating on heterocyclic amine carcinogen formation in grilled chicken. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 1997;35:433-441.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/24/2013