Warm weather usually is the kick off of grilling season but in the Midwest Memorial weekend can be considered a grilling holiday. With summer knocking at your door filled with many evenings and weekends filled with firing up the grill, is your mind on the meat or safety of your family?

According to WWMT, E-coli and salmonella are just a couple of things to be concerned about when cooking out for your family.

CEO and environmental engineer of Wondermakers Environmental in Kalamazoo, Michael Pinto, ran an ATP test on a grill that was used to cook chicken and hamburgers. The test is common in the food service industry and consists of swabbing a surface, then placing the swab in a solution. The test score is based on a meter that supplies a number that evaluates the cleanliness of the surface.

For numbering purposes, Pinto said, "Food grade clean is going to be anything that is 50 or less, very clean would actually be 15 or less.

The grill that was used in this particular test had not been cleaned for months. Even though the grill looked rough, it tested zero but that was due to the heat of the grill sterilizing the cooking rack. Whew!

Another test was done to find out if putting cooked meat back on the plate you carried it out to the grill raw, was safe. The burger plate came in at 221 which is way above the safe number of 50 or lower. The chicken plate that was tested, appeared much cleaner to the naked eye but, did even worse than the burger by coming in at 481. The safe thing to do is to take your raw meat out on one plate but bringing it back on a fresh clean plate to cut down on bacteria.

The spatula is the one item that comes in contact with the meat on your grill and like a lot of grill enthusiasts, you tend to put it on the plate you brought the meat out on. Not a good idea, the spatula tested that was used to turn the burgers came in at 8617 and even worse, the chicken spatula came in at 9999. What was learned here is to never serve food with the cooking spatula and maybe even keep a cleaning solution in the area of your grill to cut down on bacteria on your spatula.

Pinto when on to say, take these issues seriously, even a healthy person can potentially put their life in danger with E-coli or listeria that come from meats while cooking.



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