Enjoy grilling season, but be safe! Hoosiers will soon be planning to celebrate the 4th of July with backyard BBQs and cookouts. This annual tradition of cooking out on the grill with friends and family typically signifies the kick-off of summer! And while your 4th of July celebration should be a fun event, it’s a good idea to follow a few safety precautions to be sure that your cookout remains fun. The first time you use your grill this summer, take a few minutes to clean and inspect it for any cracking, holes or leaks before igniting it. Never use your grill indoors and make sure that it is located far away from siding, eaves and awnings as well as trees or bushes that could potentially ignite. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that annually many grill fires leading to injuries and property damage can be avoided with these precautions. Next it’s time to focus on the food! Most food poisoning occurs from undercooked food, so use a food thermometer to ensure your meat is thoroughly cooked: Steak – 145°F, hamburger meat – 160°F and chicken – 165°F (www.foodsafety.gov). Use your good common sense while keeping these grilling safety tips in mind and have a safe and happy 4th of July!
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