Kroger chef shares Fourth of July grilling safety tips

Posted at 4:30 AM, Jul 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-04 06:41:17-04

NEWPORT, Ky. -- Sizzling steaks on the grill can be perfect for a July Fourth barbecue.

But safety has to be on the menu as well. One in six Americans gets sick from foodborne illnesses each year, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Chef Aarron Nieman at the Newport Kroger offered some tips for safe grilling:

Wash your hands

No matter what you touch, it's important to wash your hands after, according to Nieman. Even if it's raw vegetables.

"You can't be too safe," he said.

Thoroughly cook meats

As a rule of thumb, chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees farenheit, hamburgers to 160 and steaks to 145.

"Something liek beef is a little safe to eat say, 'underdone,' Nieman said. "Anywhere from 135 to 145 degrees."

Careful with grill brushes

Grill brushes can be great for keeping a grill clean, but they can get to the point where they lose their effectiveness and then they can be a danger, according to Nieman.

"The dangers are, the wires mauy fall out of the brush and get into your food, and they can do very serious damage to your insides," he said.

Put food away

It's important to not leave food sitting out too long. Nieman said four hours is the limit. When in doubt, throw it out.

Use separate tools and plates 

Using separate tools and plates for preparing different foods helps avoid cross contamination.

"I try to prepare my vegetables first and then my meats second, and that kind of keeps away from the cross contamination," Nieman said.

Check out some more grilling and food safety tips from the Ohio Department of Health here.