Tips for safe grilling

Grilling is one of the most popular food preparation methods in the summer. Like with any type of cooking, the basic hygiene rules should be borne in mind also when grilling. The conditions may not always be as good with respect to hygiene at the summer cabin or when camping as in the home kitchen. In particular, maintaining an unbroken cold chain and ensuring that there is a possibility for washing hands can sometimes require special efforts. But it pays to make those efforts to prevent nasty food poisoning.

Wash your hands

Remember to wash your hands before starting to grill and after handling raw foods. If there is not enough water available, for example when camping, prepare for cooking by bringing disposable hand sanitizer wipes with you. Handle foods with utensils, whenever possible.

Store meat cold

  • Store raw meat and meat products and other perishable foods at low temperatures (+2-+6 degrees Celsius) before use.
  • Remember that also vacuum packed and marinated products must be stored cold! Do not use packed products after their use-by date.
  • If there is no refrigerator, use a cool bag with freezer blocks, or buy the products as near to the time of use as possible.
  • Raw steaks and other meat products must be stored separate from other foods before cooking, preferably in their original packaging.
  • Marinate meat, fish and vegetables in a fridge/cold place. Bring foods out just before they are used and only the amount needed at one meal.

Grill to well-done

  • Beef burgers, pork steaks and poultry have to be grilled to well-done to ensure that any pathogens are destroyed. Do not prove taste raw minced meat (e.g. burger dough). Particularly when served to children, minced meat should always be cooked through.
  • Do not scorch your food, however, as burnt food contains PAH compounds, which are harmful to health. Use lighter fluid according to instructions and remember that pine cones are not suitable for burning in a grill.

Keep raw and cooked foods separate

  • Prevent the migration of bacteria from raw foods to cooked foods. Separate dishes and utensils should be provided for raw materials and cooked products.
  • Do not spill marinade used with raw meat on your hands or on cooked foods.
  • Always wash the dishes and utensils that have come into contact with raw meat, fish or vegetables thoroughly before using them to handle cooked meat or other cooked foods.
  • Use clean barbeque tongs to handle cooked products. The right time to replace the tongs when grilling e.g. steaks is after the steaks have been cooked on one side and have been once flipped over.

Serve hot

  • Do not keep or serve leftovers. In warm summer weather, bacteria will quickly multiply in food in just 1 to 2 hours.