Health Watch - Summertime: 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.

ThisThis week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the start of the summer holiday season. Picnics in the park and backyard cookouts are a favorite way to enjoy the season, but don’t let unsafe food handling spoil the fun.

Vickie Vaclavik, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says foods spoil more quickly in hot weather, so don’t leave foods such as raw meat, cold cuts or dairy products out for more than an hour. Have plenty of ice to store leftovers or raw meats in coolers. Refrigerate or chill leftovers of cooked meats within an hour. Make sure that you cook meats thoroughly when grilling by using a meat thermometer to test doneness. Remember to use separate containers and utensils for cooked meat than you used for the raw meat. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before handling food and after handling raw meat.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in nutrition.


May 2009

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