Corinth State Farm Agent Scott Sawyer has shared many tips to keep you and your family safe while grilling and picnicking this spring.
- Check gas lines for cracking, sharp bends or brittleness. Put soapy water on the gas lines and look for bubbling to test for leaks.
- Grill in well-ventilated areas. Never grill inside a home, tent, vehicle or camper.
- Keep lighter fluid capped and a safe distance away from the grill.
- Never add lighter fluid to hot coals.
- Never use gasoline or kerosene as a starter fluid.
- Clean grates and grease pans to prevent flare ups, and wait 48 hours before disposing coal ashes.
- Grill at least 10 feet away from buildings, and keep children and pets away from grills.
- Never leave a grill unattended.
- Wash fruits and vegetables ahead of time. There may not be running water at the picnic site.
- Store raw meat separate from other foods to avoid cross-contamination.
- Place drinks and perishable foods in separate coolers. When guests grab drinks, they won’t expose the perishable items.
- Use ice packs to keep perishable items at a safe temperature in the cooler.
- Pack a meat thermometer so you can be sure meats are cooked to safe temperatures.
- Fill large bowls with ice and set foods that need to stay cool on top. Don’t forget to replace the ice as it melts.
- Keep perishable items in the cooler until time to eat. Make sure these items stay cool. The Food and Drug Administration recommends 40 degrees Farenheit or colder.
- Discard any food that’s been sitting out for more than two hours.
- Keep coolers out of direct sunlight, and avoid opening them excessively.
- Cook meat to the proper temperature to destroy potentially harmful bacteria. Hamburgers are safe to eat at 160 degrees F, according to the USDA.
- Separate different types of raw meat from each other.
- Don’t place cooked meat on a plate that once held raw meat. This goes for utensils too. Switch out your tongs to serve cooked meat.
- Place cooked meats in a pan by the side of the grill. The heat will help maintain a safe internal temperature.
For more information contact Sawyer by clicking here.