Summer is an excellent time for grilling outdoors, but there are dangers with any cookout. Whether you are preparing meals outside for your family, planning a Fourth of July or other holidays, you may be at risk. Each year at cookouts, people suffer burn injuries, food-borne illness, falls, and other injuries.
Here’s how you can make your barbecue safer:
- Set up your barbecue safely. Always set your grill on an even, firm surface, well away from overhanging branches. Your barbecue area should be set up on a non-flammable area.
- Maintain good lighting. If you are cooking later at night, make sure there is adequate lighting and the ground is even to prevent trip and fall accidents.
- Check for recalls. Always check for recalls on your deck materials, barbecue, and grill accessories. Unsafe products can make any cookout dangerous.
- Don’t use wire brushes on your grill. While these were standard for years, Consumer Reports and other reputable sources have found that the wires can break off and become embedded in the food you cook, putting you at risk of swallowing the wires and suffering severe injury.
- Reduce the risk of fire. Always grill with a fire extinguisher nearby and never leave a lit barbecue unattended, even for a moment. Avoid using too much lighter fluid and don’t wear clothes with hanging sleeves if you’re cooking over an open fire. Shut off the barbecue and wait for it to cool before walking away. Store propane and other flammable materials carefully, well out of reach of children.
- Serve alcohol carefully. Always stay sober if you’re grilling. Alcohol and open flame do not mix. If you’re serving alcohol to guests, be ready to make sure they get home safely. Stop serving alcohol early, offer a mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and be ready to step in if someone tries to drink and drive.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands before handling and preparing food. If you’re preparing raw meat, especially, avoid cross-contamination by washing the knife, fork, tongs, cutting board, and any surfaces raw meat ma have touched. Use fresh implements and new surfaces for cooked meat.
- Reduce the risk of food-borne illness. Use a food thermometer to check that meat is grilled to the correct internal temperature. Since barbecues can cook unevenly, this is very important. When serving food, keep it covered to prevent flies and debris from landing on it and don’t leave out food for extended periods of time. Keep hot food hot and cold foods cold. Put away leftovers quickly.
If you have been injured due to an unsafe product or someone’s negligence, call Flaxman Law Group 866-352-9626 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. Or contact us online.