How to avoid food poisoning as the grilling season kicks off

The summer grilling season kicks off this weekend, and the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service wants to remind everyone of important tips to avoid food poisoning.

Food Safety Specialist Argyris Magoulas tells News Now Warsaw that planning ahead can help prevent food-borne illnesses when cooking outdoors.

“We say if you’re going to go camping, hiking to make sure you prepare. Get your utensils all together, have the food stored in coolers with ice…things to clean with, sanitizing materials,” he explains.

He says there are an increase in food poisoning cases in the warmer months.

Some tips to keep in mind are to to follow the four steps of food safety:

  • Clean: Clean hands, surfaces and utensils with soap and warm water before cooking. Wash hands for 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry.
  • Separate: Use separate cutting boards, plates and utensils to avoid cross-contamination between raw meat or poultry and foods that are ready to eat.
  • Cook: Confirm foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature by using a food thermometer.
  • Chill: Chill foods promptly if not consuming immediately after cooking. Don’t leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours.

Meats should be cooked to the following internal temperatures:

  • Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, roasts and chops): 145°F
  • Ground meats: 160°F
  • Whole poultry, poultry breasts and ground poultry: 165°F

You can get more information on how to prevent food-borne illness this summer at or