How to Avoid a Cookout Catastrophe

Now that summer is in full swing, chances are you’ve been firing up your grill and enjoying this season full of yummy grilled burgers, steaks, hot dogs and veggies shared with friends and family. Consider the following common grilling issues to ensure everyone has a safe and healthy time at your next barbecue. 
 

Cuts and Burns Can Happen to Anyone

Even the most experienced grill master may fall victim to cuts and burns. A single slip of the knife or incorrect hand placement and you might find yourself in need of urgent medical care. To prevent these disasters from happening, be sure to:

•    Keep children and inexperienced helpers away from knives and the grill itself
•    Use long-handled grilling tools
•    Clean your grill before each use to prevent buildup of flammable grease
•    Refresh yourself on your grill's important features in the user's manual to prevent an accident from occurring

For minor burns that don’t penetrate the deeper skin layers, run cold water over the area to reduce the swelling. Cover the burn and avoid popping any blisters. Seek medical care at your nearest urgent care clinic. If the burn is more serious, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency room immediately. 
 

Be Aware of Food Contamination 

Cross-contamination is the most common food-safety mistake made at picnics and barbecues. This  happens when potentially dangerous and disease-causing organisms are transferred from one food item to another. 

You can prevent cross-contamination by:

•    Washing your hands before and after handling raw and cooked foods
•    Using clean utensils and cutting boards for each food item
•    Putting cooked meats on a separate plate than the one used for the raw meat 

If you start to feel ill after a cookout -- with symptoms such as diarrhea or nausea -- visit your local urgent care to get immediate treatment and relief. 
 

Reduce the Risk of Fire Hazards

It is very easy to use your grill incorrectly when you are distracted by a good time with friends and family. Grill fires are much more common than you would think. Before you start your grill, make sure to:

•    Place your grill outside, uncovered and in an open space
•    Check for any gas leaks
•    Open the grill lid before turning on the gas to prevent a fireball from occurring 
•    Never leave your grill unattended or overloaded with food
•    Keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case

Don't let these common cookout issues ruin your time outdoors. By following these safety tips, you can reduce your risk of injuries and illnesses, and everyone can have a fun time! 

But if a minor grilling accident happens and you need treatment, your neighborhood Immediate Clinic is here to help. Learn more about what we treat