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The Nutrition Nosh

Susan Glassman, Extension Educator, shares Nutrition and Wellness information and recipes to make life healthier!

Summertime Food Safety

You don't want to invite this guest to your next BBQ – Bacteria. Bacteria love hot weather and summertime parties! Follow these grilling and food safety rules to ensure you stay food-safe this season.

Here are some grilling and BBQ food safety tips!

For grilling:

  1. Begin with a clean grill, clean grates with a scraper or wire brush to remove food.
  2. Place grills at least 10 feet away from the house and other combustible materials.
  3. Outdoor grills are for outdoors, not enclosed areas.
  4. Use proper utensils with long handles and flame retardant mitts to protect your hands.
  5. For charcoal, use lighter fluid made for grilling.
  6. Keep a spray bottle of water handy.
  7. Know where your fire extinguisher is located.
  8. Never leave grills unattended.
  9. Never dispose of coals until after they are cooled and extinguished.
  10. Clean grill after each use.

Food safety on the grill:

  1. Wash your hands!
  2. Prevent cross contamination, keep raw meats separate from other foods
  3. Wash and sanitize cutting boards and equipment after handling raw meat.
  4. Don't reuse marinades after they are in contact with raw meat. If you want use marinade for basting, save some before meat marinades, or boil the marinade it to destroy bacteria.
  5. Change cooking utensils; don't serve with utensils that touched raw meat.
  6. If away from home, keep perishable foods cold with insulated coolers until it's time to grill.
  7. If food is sitting out at room temperature, there is a 2 hour rule. When eating outside on a hot summer day (above 90 ᵒF) the rule is 1 hour.
  8. Use a food thermometer – this is the only way to know if food is truly done.
  • Beef, Pork, Lamb & Veal (steaks, roasts, chops): 145 ᵒF (medium-rare) or above with a 3 minute rest time
  • Ground Meats: 160 ᵒF
  • ALL Poultry: 165 ᵒF

Enjoy this award winning recipe on the grill this summer!

State Fair Pork Chops:

4 pork chops, ¾ in. thick

½ cup creamy Italian dressing

½ cup lemon-lime soda

Trim fat off port chops and place in a self-sealing plastic bag. Pour Italian dressing and lemon lime soda in the plastic bag. Place bag with pork chops in a container on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator; let them marinate for at least 20 minutes or as long as overnight. Remove chops from bag and discard leftover marinade. Grill over a medium fire. Turn chops once. Grill until done, about 8-10 minutes total cooking time. Thermometer should read at least 145 ᵒF, followed by a 3 minute resting period. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts: Calories, 330, Fat 19g, Sodium 360mg, Carbohydrates 5g, Fiber 0g, Protein 30g, (includes marinate, final dish will be somewhat lower in calories, fat, sodium and carbs)

For more information visit: With questions, call or email Susan Glassman, Extension Educator, Nutrition & Wellness at 815-224-0889 or

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