Health Watch -- Memorial Day Weekend: Safe Grilling

 Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we're talking about Memorial Day weekend fun — and safety. Previously, we discussed how important it is to handle raw meats safely at a cookout. It's also essential to cook meats properly when you're grilling.

Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says you should use a meat thermometer when grilling to ensure that your food is cooked thoroughly — not charred on the outside and raw inside. Grilled meats should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees. Serve cooked meat as soon as possible after you grill it — at least within two hours of cooking — and then put any leftovers in a cooler with plenty of ice. Make sure it's not the same cooler that held the raw meat. You should also use separate dishes and utensils that haven't been used with raw meats when you're serving cooked meats.

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May 2006

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