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Markham Stouffville Hospital
BBQ Food Safety Tips
Sat Jan 20, 2018

York Region reminds residents to BBQ with food safety in mind

Follow these simple tips to avoid food-borne illness and grill safely this summer!

NEWMARKET – When outdoor temperatures rise, so do incidences of food-borne illness. The Regional Municipality of York Public Health branch recommends the four simple steps of clean, separate, cook and chill to reduce the risk of food-borne illness and make your barbecue a safe event.

Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often and wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly

• Always wash hands with warm water and soap before and after handling food

• Wash and sanitize preparation areas including counter tops, utensils and any other items that come in contact with food using a mild bleach solution (e.g., 5 ml of household bleach per 1 litre of water) and rinse with clean water

• Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly using cool, running tap water

Separate: Do not cross-contaminate

• Keep packages of raw meat, poultry and seafood separate from other food at all times

• Never reuse marinade that has been used to marinate raw meat to baste cooked food

• Place cooked food on a clean plate – never reuse plates or cutting boards that previously held raw food

Cook: Ensure food is cooked to a safe internal temperature

• Use a probe thermometer to check the internal temperature of food – it is the only way to know if food has reached the proper final cooking temperature

• Hamburgers made of ground beef, pork or lamb should be cooked to an internal temperature of 71ºC (160ºF) or higher

• Burgers made of ground chicken or turkey and vegetable-based burgers should be cooked to an internal temperature of 74ºC (165ºF) or higher

• Whole poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 85ºC (185ºF)

Chill: Refrigerate food promptly

• Keep hot food at 60°C (140°F) or hotter, and keep cold food at 4°C (40°F) or colder

• Promptly refrigerate or freeze meat after purchase

• Never thaw meat at room temperature; thaw meat in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave

• Food thawed in the microwave should be cooked immediately after being thawed

• Refrigerate leftover food as soon as possible and use within 48 hours

• Perishable food left out for more than two hours should be discarded

Common symptoms of food-borne illnesses include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Residents who believe they may be experiencing a food-borne illness should seek medical attention.

For more information on this or any other public health related program, please contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-252-9933.

For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit

Associated To: Regional Municipality of York

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