Barbecue Safety Tips

By Health Day

With summer just around the corner, prime grilling season is only a hot dog and beef patty away. But experts warn that while tasty and fun BBQs do pose some risks.

For example studies show that grilling protein-rich meat on an excessively high flame and heat may prompt the release of cancer-causing agents. Experts therefore advise the "low and slow" approach- cooking on a low flame and even marinating meat for a half hour beforehand to help prevent charring. Another suggestion: pre-cook meats in the microwave, to reduce grill time and pre-trim the fat to prevent flare-ups.

At the same time experts at the U.S. Department of Agriculture warn that it is critical to use separate cutting boards, dishes and utensils for raw and cooked ingredients and to grill foods thoroughly in order to prevent exposure to harmful bacteria. Using a food thermometer is key, they say given that grilled meat and chicken tend to brown fast on the outside, which can be misleading.

And on that note they advise a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for meat, 160 degrees for ground meat and 165 for chicken.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news for healthier living.

This content requires the latest Adobe Flash Player and a browser with JavaScript enabled. Click here for a free download of the latest Adobe Flash Player.