Barbecue Temperatures

It’s time to fire up the barbecue again! But before you toss your meat on the grill, here are a few grilling-safety reminders that should help to protect you, your family and friends. After all, food poisoning doesn’t exactly make a great side-dish.

There are many simple ways to reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses. The danger comes from bacteria such as, E.coli, salmonella, and other transferable germs on raw meats. First off, the old adage about not judging a book by its cover can also be applied to meat grilling: don’t judge how well meat is cooked by the colour of its surface or juices. The only reliable method is to stick a meat thermometer into the middle of your grilled food.

Your meat should be cooked at the following temperatures before being eaten.

Beef & Lamb 
Medium rare – 54.4 to 57.2°C (130 to 135°F)
Medium – 60 to 62.7°C (140 to 145°F)
Medium well – 65.5 to 68.3°C (150 to 155°F)
Well done – 71.1°C (160°F)
Ground meat (hamburgers)- 71.1°C (160°F)
Hot dogs – 60°C (140°F)
Chicken and Turkey – 73.8°C (165°F)
Chops medium – 60 to 62.7°C (140 to 145°F)
Chops well done – 71.1°C (160°F)
Ham – 71.1°C (160°F)
Fish – 62.7°C (145°F)
Tuna – 51.6°C (125°F)

Don’t put cooked food back on the plate that the raw food sat on, or use the same utensils to pick it up once you’re done barbecuing. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and warm water, before and after touching the food, is a great way to protect yourself and your guests against bacteria. Now you have the grilling smarts to avoid an upset stomach all throughout the barbecue season!