With summer comes outdoor fun, cookouts, and of course grilling! Getting the family or friends together for a cookout is one of the best ways to enjoy the summer weather. But it is also important to ensure that you are taking the necessary precautions to safely grill.

Grilling safely not only includes avoiding direct injury but it also means taking the time to properly cook food all the way through. Anyone who decides to be the “grillmaster” at any outdoor cookout has a big responsibility to not only ensure that the food is tasty but to also make sure the food is safe.

Below are a handful of effective prevention skills to reduce grill-related injuries. Additionally, we’ve complied food safety concerns via the Centers for Disease Control to help keep your food safe and edible for everyone at the cookout!

Check your tools and always be careful with lighter fluid and ignition

Unkempt tools including grill brushes can potentially cause a hazard in your food and leave behind metal bristles. Make sure that you are consistently cleaning your grill with safe and durable tools. Also clean your lighters and burners to ensure that you don’t experience any blockages.

When using charcoal grills and lighter fluid make sure to use the fluid sparingly. Overuse of lighter fluid could lead to a potential burn if it is covered on your hand, clothes, or elsewhere!

Use a thermometer to check if your food is fully cooked

You’ll want a grilling thermometer to ensure that your grill and your food is cooked fully enough to eat safely. Generally, cooked foods under 145 degrees Fahrenheit could become quickly contaminated and lead to possible food poisoning.

Keep your grill between 225 and 300 degrees to ensure that you can safely cook your food to an ideal temperature. Once your food is cooked, you may want to double check with a separate thermometer if any food is under-cooked. Additionally, research the ideal temperatures for specific foods before grilling and serving to guests.

Watch out for cross-contamination risks as you’re grilling

Another risk of grilling includes cross-contamination of marinades, foods, and juices during grilling. When these raw items come into contact with other foods it could lead to potential food safety concerns. Take some time to separate raw foods and use gloves and proper utensils to safely transfer food onto the grill.

When possible, also clean and dispose of surfaces or items that have touched raw meat and similar food items.