'Tis the season to fire up the grill and get to cooking up some amazing dishes in the great outdoors. Grilling is one of the best things about warmer temperatures, and many of us find any and every reason we can to use it instead of the ovens and stove tops we've been confined to all winter. But grilling isn't all fun and games; it can come with plenty of dangers if you're not careful.
I'm pretty much a food safety freak -- indoors or out -- but the latest grilling danger highlighted in the news is one I've never thought of before. It's frightening and serious enough to put a major damper on your outdoor fun. It has to do with your grill brush -- yes, that thing you thought was helping you cook healthier could actually make you seriously sick.
According to a recent report, it seems that people can and do end up ingesting those little tiny wire bristles from grill brushes. They break off during cleaning, wedge themselves into the cooking food, and then the unsuspecting eater winds up with a pretty serious medical condition -- sometimes even requiring surgery. Doctors say it's important for grillers and doctors alike to be aware of this danger and use caution when using the brushes. So griller, beware.
Other grilling safety tips to remember while we're at it:
Clean Your Grill
Besides being dangerous, flare-ups can lead to cancer, according to some studies. That means clean it, before you fire it up.
Even on a clean grill, you can char things if you're not careful. Make sure you cook meat low and slow and take other precautions to avoid the burnt stuff.
Grills are a major burn risk for kids running around. Make sure they're kept well away from them when they're lit.
Cook Food Thoroughly
From the USDA, here are the safe minimum internal temperatures for various meats:
Use separate utensils, plates, and anything that touches various types of meat. Also wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
What's your favorite part about grilling?
Image via TheBusyBrain/Flickr