Summer time is grilling time. Food cooked on the grill has a totally different taste from indoor cooking. With more people cooking on their grills than ever before, the HPBA (Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association) offers the following tips for grilling safety. Remember that any time you work with fire, there is a chance of getting burned, so take precautions.
- When using a new grill, be sure to read the owner’s manual. If you assembled the grill yourself, you know where it is.
- Grills are for outdoor use. If used inside, the carbon monoxide accumulating from combustion can be fatal.
- Grills should be placed well away from the home, deck railings or overhanging branches.
- Use long handled utensils to avoid burns and spatters.
- Take care with clothing. Don’t wear dangly fabric on sleeves or aprons that can catch fire.
- Keep the fire under control. If you must douse flames with a light spritz of water, remove the food from the grill first.
- Place a splatter mat beneath your grill to protect your patio or deck from dripping grease.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Keep children and pets away from the grilling area.
- Clean your grill before use by brushing off the charred grease AND THEN wipe the grill down with a wad of wet paper towels. This step is critical to remove any bristles that may fall out of the grill brush. Grill bristles unintentionally ingested will result in a visit to the Emergency Room. The Center for Disease Control reports several cases each year of patients admitted to hospitals with complaints ranging from bristles in the tongue or throat to penetrations of the small intestine as a result of eating food with bristles embedded.
Billie Nicholson, Editor