Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start to summer and many people will be firing up their grills! Physician Assistant Jessica DeLuise shared some grilling safety tips on the PHL17 Patio.

First and foremost, Jess said a big mistake grillers are making is not switching out tools.

“So we’re putting our burgers or hot dogs on the grill with a set of tongs. You’re going to use a brand new, clean set of tongs when you’re pulling that cooked meat off.”

The same tip applies to cutting boards. Make sure to switch out your cutting boards when cutting up meats and fruits or vegetables.

Next, how long should you leave your food out before placing it in the refrigerator?

“If it’s under 90 degrees outside, you only have two hours. If it’s hotter than 90 degrees, you need to only keep it out for one hour,” said Jess.

When food warms or cools to between 40 and 140 degrees it can become a breeding ground for bacteria otherwise known as “the danger zone.” Try to keep cold foods under the 40 degree mark and hot foods over the 140 degree mark. A handy tool can be a meat thermometer.

Finally, how should we defrost our meat?

“Make sure that you’re doing that in the refrigerator overnight. You don’t want to put it out on the countertop. The best practice is in the refrigerator overnight or in a cool water bath.”

You can visit Jess’s website here.