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Safe Grilling 101

January 17th, 2023 | by admin admin | in Safety Advice |    0   comments

Nothing says “summer” in Vancouver like a salmon on the barbecue. With plenty of sun in the forecast, this is a great time to fire up your grill. BCAA offers some great safety reminders, including:

  • Check for leaks. Leave the barbecue valve off and the cylinder valve on. Spread a soapy solution on all fittings and the hose. If bubbles appear, you have a leak and you must repair or replace the part(s) before using the barbecue again. Check the valves too.
  • Always light a gas barbecue with the lid open. A leaking or open valve can cause propane to accumulate under the lid or in the basin, and the gas could explode when lit.
  • Light your match or lighter before you turn on the propane. If the barbecue doesn't ignite, turn the control valves off, wait five minutes and try again.
  • As soon as you finish barbecuing, turn off the cylinder valve first, then the grill controls. This lets the gas in the lines burn off.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Don't try to put out a fat fire with water - it will only spread the flames. If fire has engulfed the propane tank, evacuate the area immediately - at least 200 metres away from the tank - and call the fire department.

The article also includes some handy tips on storage and transport of propane, and how to tell how full your propane tank is.

While handling a barbecue properly is important, proper food handling is also critical, especially in the summer. The first rule: keep it cold. Buy cold food at the end of your supermarket visit. Keep raw meat in the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill. Frozen meat should be thawed in the fridge, although sealed packages can be defrosted in cold water. If you’re using a cooler, keep it well packed with ice and store it in a shady spot.

While grilling, avoid cross contamination. Keep raw meat separate from other food items, especially salads and fruit intended to be eaten raw. Use separate utensils and equipment when handling raw and cooked meat. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, and clean all your equipment, utensils and work surfaces.

Finally, cook thoroughly. Bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella are killed by heat. Hamburgers and chicken should not be pink. But colour alone isn’t a foolproof guideline. Insert a digital thermometer, sideways through a hamburger patty or through the thickest part of the meat, to check that the food has reached a safe internal temperature.

For more advice and a temperature chart, read Health Canada’s Food Safety Tips for Barbecuing.

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