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Wellness for the Family: Simple Tips to Master the Grill This Summer

With summer in full swing the smell of grills being lit floats through the air. It’s no secret, Michiganders love to grill and experience the beauty of the season. But there are a couple of ways that you can look like a grilling master this year by following these tips from our good friends at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The last thing any summer party host wants is for their guests to get sick. But luckily we have some ways to limit cross contamination and bacteria.

1. Do not thaw meat on the counter: Instead, always thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator to prevent rapidly growing bacteria.

2. Don’t season meat by shaking the salt, pepper or spice containers right over the raw meat: Containers could become contaminated with bacteria by accidentally touching them with hands that have touched the raw meat, or by transferring bacteria when opening and closing the small container lids. Instead, measure spices into a separate bowl first to keep the containers clean.

3. Don’t keep meat at room temperature too long: If it’s been left out for more than two hours, it is not safe to eat because rapidly growing bacteria thrive at this temperature.

4. Don’t use the same cutting board for raw meats and other items: Use separate cutting boards for each food item being prepared. After using cutting boards for raw meat, wash them with hot, soapy water.

5. Don’t forget to wash hands: It’s important to use hot, soapy water to clean hands before and after handling raw foods.

More than 20,000 people are hospitalized annually due to injuries associated with charcoal or gas grills. Here are some helpful tips to keep you and your family safe while grilling this summer.

1. Have a fire extinguisher nearby.

2. Keep small children away from the grill while it is in use.

3. Keep the grill away from the house or garage.

4. Use the correct tools to handle food on the grill.

For more information or to explore all that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has to offer visit their website.