Whether your family enjoys grilling out year around or just on special occasions, it's important to keep in mind basic food safety practices to help make sure that foodborne illness doesn't spoil your grilled dinner.
NSF’s Tom Chestnut talks about grilling safety
According to an NSF germ study, the kitchen sponge and kitchen sink were the germiest places in the home — items that are typically used in multiple stages of the cooking and cleaning process.
Avoid spreading germs and bacteria by placing wet sponges in the microwave for two minutes once per day and replacing them often. Using towels and rags that can be sanitized in the clothes washer's hot water cycle is also a good option. The sides and bottoms of sinks should be washed and disinfected 1–2 times per week with a disinfecting cleaner.
Always bring perishable foods straight home from the store and place them in the refrigerator or freezer. Frozen items can be thawed either in the microwave (if cooking immediately) or overnight in the refrigerator. Never leave food out at room temperature to thaw.
Most frozen meats can be cooked from the frozen state, but will usually take up to 50 percent longer to cook.
Tips for Cleaning Barbecue Grills
If marinating food, marinate in a refrigerator overnight and dispose of any leftover marinade that has touched raw meat. If you need some marinade for basting, place a small amount of prepared marinade aside in a separate dish before adding raw food.
Since bacteria grow the quickest when temperatures are between 40º F and 140º F, keep perishable foods refrigerated or iced down until just before placing on a preheated grill or serving, and keep hot foods above 140º F once fully cooked.
Bacteria can easily spread from one food to the next via dripping juices, hands, or utensils. Don't use the same utensils and plates for raw and cooked foods, and always remember to wash your hands before preparing and consuming food.
Always use a certified food thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to the proper minimum internal temperature:
Rest time refers to the amount of time the meat needs to stand without carving once it’s reached a minimum safe cooking temperature.