Health Watch - Starting Summer: 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 kicking off the summer season with Memorial Day weekend. One Memorial Day tradition is the cookout – cooking hot dogs or burgers at the lake or in the back yard. But unsafe food handling could make the cookout less enjoyable.

Dr. Vickie Vaclavik, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, offers some tips for safe grilling. Grilled meats should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees, and poultry should be cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees. Use a meat thermometer to make sure.

Foods spoil faster in warm weather, so don’t leave dairy products, cold cuts or raw meat unrefrigerated for more than an hour, and chill any leftover cooked meat within an hour. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after handling raw meat and before cooking or eating.

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May 2010


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