Grilling Tips ? Safety Comes First at the Barbecue

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You're standing at the gas grill in the hot sun, wiping the sweat from your brow, and having your favorite cool drink. You are making one of your favorite grill recipes for the neighbors that are coming over in a few minutes for a home and garden party. You are using your brand new gas grill with all of the bells and whistles. You even went to the trouble of sending out fun invitations you found on the internet and you have just the perfect theme picked out for your party. Your new pool furniture has arrived and the weather is a perfect 80 degrees. Your picnic table is set up for the kids and their friends. Summer life doesn't get much better than that. With every grill recipe, party and backyard barbecue you can still maintain safety and common sense. Your party could be a disaster without first thinking about safety for yourself and your guests. Here are a few tips that ensure safety first:

? If your gas grill is lit, never leave it unattended
? Never move the grill once it is lit and hot
? Be sure to read the owners manual before actually grilling food
? Check all of the parts of the grill to make sure it has been firmly and correctly put together
? Never attempt grilling in a trailer, garage or any enclosed space. The fumes and flames can quickly kill you
? Beware of a windy day when sparks can easily get away from you
? If grilling with charcoal, lighter fluid should be capped
immediately after use and never use gasoline or kerosene to start a flame
? Keep children and animals away from the grill
? Grill away from grasses, trees, shrubs, awnings, umbrellas
? Place the grill on a fire resistant material such as brick or concrete, never grass
? Have fire resistant cooking mitts ready and waiting
? Wear clothing that doesn't hang out over the grill
? Control flare-ups by lowering the thermostat
? Keep a bottle of sanitizer next to your grill to protect your hands from cross contamination
? Have a fire extinguisher close at hand if needed and try baking soda to control a flame that is out of control
? The correct long handled utensils used just for grilling keep your hands safe

Keep your food safe as well as your body and property. Food safety begins in the grocery store when you keep your meat at a cold temperature when you are bringing it home. Don't let meat sit in a warm car or out too long in air temperature. Keeping food safe is as important when traveling to a picnic or just staying at home. When you work with meat, there are all kinds of bacteria and germs that grow so keep your raw meat away from any vegetables you are grilling. Be sure not to put your cooked meat onto the same plate where you removed the raw meat. Don't bring the meat out of the kitchen until you are ready to place it on a hot grill. There is no reason to have it out exposed to the sun and bugs. This all seems like common sense, but you would be surprised how many people don't think about cross contamination between cooked and raw food. Having your guests sick from salmonella poisoning doesn't make for a very fun picnic or party and they won't be returning any time soon. If you love to entertain outdoors in the summer, follow a few safety tips when it comes to handling food and grilling on any style of grill. You will have more fun and so will your guests.

Beverly Marshall is a successful freelance writer offering guidance and suggestions for consumers buying patio and outdoor furniture, hammocks, picnic tables, above ground pools, gas grills, outdoor kitchens and more. She gives information and tips to help you save money and make informed buying decisions.

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