Grill safely this holiday weekend

July 3, 2014
Grill safely this holiday weekend
Expert offers tips on avoiding food poisoning and reducing cancer risk from barbecued meat.

(HealthDay)—July Fourth is nearly here, and chances are your weekend plans include at least some grilling.

Check out the following cooking tips from registered dietitian Elizabeth Murray to help protect yourself and your loved ones.

"When it comes to grilling, there are two main dangers to avoid: carcinogens, which are agents that can cause cancer, and ," said Murray in a statement provided by Georgia Regents University.

The dripping fat on a grill can cause hazardous smoke. But Murray said grillers should be more concerned about cooking meat with extremely high heat, especially if they eat a lot of it.

Why? Because high heat—above 400 degrees Fahrenheit—produces chemicals in meat that are linked to cancer.

"Research shows that people who eat large amounts of grilled, barbecued and well-done red meats have higher cancer risks."

Eliminating meat from the menu may be too much for some grillers to bear. "However, if you increase your antioxidant intake, you can help counteract the cancer risk. So pairing your barbecued meat with a fruit salad or fresh vegetables is a great idea," Murray said. "Remember, the more colorful, the better."

It's also important to avoid undercooking. "Meat must completely and thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella," Murray said. "Always check the cooking instructions on the meat packaging to find out the appropriate temperature for cooking and doneness."

Here are some more tips for healthy grilling:

  • Buy meat and poultry last when you go shopping and separate them from other food to avoid cross-contamination. Do the same thing when you put the food in the fridge.
  • Freeze meat if you aren't going to cook it promptly.
  • Thaw frozen meat completely. The refrigerator is a good place to thaw meat. Or use the microwave's defrost setting, but just make sure to grill the meat right away.
  • Marinades used before cooking can reduce cancerous chemicals in meat. But, don't marinade or defrost meat on the counter. And, don't reuse marinade that had in it for dipping.
  • Scrub the grill with hot soapy water before you use it, and do the same thing for any dishes, brushes, utensils and so on if you're using them for more than one kind of raw or cooked meats.
  • Consider precooking meats in the microwave for two to five minutes to reduce cancerous chemicals.
  • Cook hamburgers to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit and chicken to at least 170 degrees. Check the temperature of the thickest part of the meat with a meat thermometer.
  • It's also important not to char or blacken .

Explore further: Grill healthy, grill happy

More information: Get tips on safe grilling, try the National Fire Protection Association.

Related Stories

Grill healthy, grill happy

May 23, 2014
Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer and grilling season, so VCU News reached out to VCU Medical Center registered dietitians Jan Starkey and Mary-Jo Sawyer for a few tips on keeping a great American pastime healthy ...

Safer grilling methods might cut cancer risk

June 18, 2012
(HealthDay) -- A few simple changes in how people grill outdoors, such as avoiding too much beef or processed meats and not charring foods, can aid in cancer prevention, according to an expert.

Eating red and processed meat—what do scientists say

March 6, 2014
Recent reports warn about a link between eating red and processed meat and the risk of developing cancer in the gut. These reports have resulted in new nutritional recommendations that advise people to limit their intake ...

Antibiotic-resistant pathogens and poultry

June 18, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—With recent headlines about dangerous "superbugs," an outbreak of Salmonella from chicken parts on the West Coast and the announcement by a national restaurant chain that it plans to serve only "antibiotic-free" ...

Food safety counts, especially during the holiday season

December 25, 2013
(HealthDay)—In the frenzy of holiday celebrations and gatherings, it's easy to forget the basics of food safety, so one expert offers some simple reminders.

Recommended for you

Vitamin E-deficient embryos are cognitively impaired even after diet improves

July 27, 2017
Zebrafish deficient in vitamin E produce offspring beset by behavioral impairment and metabolic problems, new research at Oregon State University shows.

Sugar not so sweet for mental health

July 27, 2017
Sugar may be bad not only for your teeth and your waistline, but also your mental health, claimed a study Thursday that was met with scepticism by other experts.

Could insufficient sleep be adding centimeters to your waistline?

July 27, 2017
Adults in the UK who have poor sleep patterns are more likely to be overweight and obese and have poorer metabolic health, according to a new study.

The role of dosage in assessing risk of hormone therapy for menopause

July 27, 2017
When it comes to assessing the risk of estrogen therapy for menopause, how the therapy is delivered—taking a pill versus wearing a patch on one's skin—doesn't affect risk or benefit, researchers at UCLA and elsewhere ...

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

July 26, 2017
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.