Must Have Tool for BBQ Food Safety

Dan This Land of Ours



Get the grill ready and grab the grilling tools. Cathy Isom reminds us about the one important grilling tool you won’t want to forget when firing up the BBQ this weekend. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.


This weekend is the unofficial start of summer, as well as the unofficial start of the summer outdoor grilling season. When going down the checklist of all of those fancy BBQ and grilling tools:  tongs, forks, spatulas, knives, one expert says many of us don’t have the essential tool. A meat thermometer. Or, if we do, we are not using it as we should, according to Marianne Gravely, with the Ag Department’s Meat and Poultry Hotline. She says one of the biggest goofs many of us make when grilling is undercooking to the point of not killing bacteria that may be in or on the meat we’re grilling.  And she says looks can be deceiving.

The only way to know if you’ve cooked something thoroughly is to use a meat thermometer. You can’t tell by looking.  

She says, for example, a hamburger patty could be totally gray no pink and still not be cooked to the required internal temperature of 160 degrees needed to kill any bacteria in there. For whole cuts of beef, pork and other red meats, 145 degrees, poultry cuts 165, and again…

The color is not a reliable indicator of doneness.

So she says to be a real outdoor grilling expert we have to use a meat thermometer.

For more information on grilling or any food safety subject, you can call the meat and poultry hotline at 1-888-M-P-Hotline.

I’m Cathy Isom…