(NAPSA) - Temperatures are on the rise and grilling in America is hotter than ever. Four out of five U.S. families now own a grill, and most people barbecue at least once a week during the summer.
Based on consumer demand, propane is still the number one choice for grills. Propane grills are equipped with convenient on/off switches, providing for instant heat, greater temperature control, and quicker cool-down times. With no burning embers, propane grills don't throw sparks or require a messy cleanup.
Before the barbecue begins, however, the Propane Education & Research Council offers the following grilling and food safety tips to help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:
Safe Grilling Tips
Before connecting or lighting a propane gas grill burner, use a leak-detection solution to check connections for tightness. Do not use matches or lighters to check for leaks.
When lighting a grill, keep the top open.
Always use or store cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical) position.
After filling or exchanging a cylinder, take it home immediately. Keep the vehicle ventilated and the cylinder valve closed and capped.
Do not allow children to tamper with the cylinder or grill.
Do not smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
Do not use, store, or transport cylinders near high temperatures (this includes storing spare cylinders near the grill).
Food Safety Tips (provided by The Partnership for Food Safety Education).
When grilling foods, thoroughly preheat the grill to kill any bacteria that may be present.
Remove from the refrigerator or cooler only the amount of raw meat that will fit on the grill at one time.
When taking foods off the grill, do not put cooked food items back on the same plate that previously held raw food. Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters so raw foods and prepared foods are served separately.
Hamburgers should be cooked to 160 F, while large cuts of beef such as roasts and steaks may be cooked to 145 F for medium rare or to 160 F for medium. Cook ground poultry to 165 F and poultry parts to 170 F. Fish should be opaque and flake easily.