Welcome to USDAís Food Safety and Inspection Service ďFood
Safety At HomeĒ podcast series, featuring topics for the safe
handling, preparation and storage of meat, poultry and processed
Hey Sam, the arrival of summer makes me want to barbeque. Letís
get the grill out today and have a cookout.
Letís do it! Iíll get the grill ready and you can buy some
chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, and other barbeque fixinís.
Okay, but I donít think the grill was cleaned since the last
time we used it. If it needs cleaning, make sure to do it before
we begin to cook.
Donít worry. The grill will be clean, hot and ready to cook when
you get back.
Okay, Iíll see you in a little bit.
(Talking to himself aloud) Iíll get the grill from the garage
and have it ready for Bobbie when she gets back. Oh, no! It does
still have last seasonís gunk on the grates! Itís a good thing I
still have the manual, so I can find out how to clean them.
Letís see; there are seven steps to follow.
- Step 1: Remove cooking grates and set them in warm soapy
water to soak.
- 2. Remove briquettes, lava rocks or metal flame shield to expose
- 3. Clean out ash and residue from around the burner.
- 4. Use a stiff wire brush and a little soapy water to scrub
grates and the inside surfaces of the grill.
- 5. Put the burner and grates back in the grill and let the
entire grill air dry.
- 6. Coat the inside surfaces and cooking grates with cooking oil
- 7. Allow an extra five minutes of heating time to make sure any
cleaning residue has burned off the burner and grates.
Well, thatís done! Iíll turn on the grill so itís nice and hot
for those chicken legs, hot dogs and burgers. I can taste them
Sam, Iím home! Is the grill ready?
Iíll get the food ready to cook and be out in a few minutes.
Okay, do you need any help?
Sure, I could use some help.
What do you need me to do?
Well, first wash your hands for at least 20 seconds in warm
soapy water to get the dirt off. Then, remove the wrapping from
the chicken and put it in that clean bowl to take out to the
grill. Go ahead and start cooking the chicken. Iíll get the
burgers ready and bring them out with the hot dogs in just a few
Sure, no problem. How long does it take to cook chicken on the
Well, itís not a matter of time, but rather the internal
temperature of what youíre cooking. The chicken legs need to
reach a minimum internal temperature of one hundred and
sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit, as measured with a food
thermometer. The burgers are made with ground beef, so their
temperature needs to reach one hundred and sixty degrees
Fahrenheit. The hot dogs need to reach one hundred and
sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit.
Oh, I get it. So, the temperature changes depending on the type
of poultry or meat used.
Iíll check the temperature of the chicken, burgers and hot dogs.
Wait, Sam. You need to clean the thermometer after you check
each food because you could cause cross-contamination.
Cross-contamination occurs when harmful bacteria from one food
are transferred to other foods, cutting boards, utensils,
surfaces, or hands.
Thatís why you need to clean the thermometer in between uses. If
you check the chickenís temperature and itís not done, then you
check the temperature of the hot dogs, and they are done, well,
youíve just possibly put harmful bacteria into the hot dogs.
Just remember that itís safer to clean the thermometer in
Donít worry, Iíll remember.
Okay, everything is at a safe internal temperature. Letís eat!
Bobbie, hand me that bowl that I had the chicken in earlier.
No, Sam! You canít use that bowl again. It still has the juices
from the raw chicken. Thatís another way to cross-contaminate
your cooked food. Iíll get a clean platter for the cooked meats.
Ummm! This chicken tastes great!
And itís safe too. (both laugh)
Youíe just heard a dialogue between Sam and Bobbie about
grilling and food safety. The Food Safety and Inspection Service
created the ďFood Safety at HomeĒ program to inform consumers
about food safety.
Listeners can learn more about Food Safety and Grilling by
visiting the FSIS Web site at www.fsis.usda.gov. Or visit us
online for assistance from our virtual representative ďAsk
KarenĒ at askkaren.gov, thatís askkaren.gov.
Consumers may also call our toll-free USDA Meat & Poultry
Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline. Thatís 1-888-674-6854.
Thank you for joining us on this episode of ďFood Safety at
Home,Ē and remember, ďBe Food Safe.Ē
Thanks for listening
to this Food Safety At Home podcast. Let us know what you think
of this podcast by sending your comments to