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Southwind District

Erie Office

111 South Butler
Erie, KS 66733
Fax:  620-244-3829

Fort Scott Office

210 South National
Fort Scott, KS 66701
Fax:  620-223-0332

Iola Office

We've moved!
1006 N. State St.
Iola, KS 66749
Fax:  620-365-7944

Yates Center Office

211 W. Butler
Yates Center, KS  66783
Fax:  620-625-8645



It's Grilling Season!

With the start of summer, you may be getting ready to start grilling again. Don’t forget about food safety! There are several key steps you can take to ensure your grilling festivities aren’t ruined by foodborne illness. 

To start, if this is your first time using the grill after a long winter, you will want to soak the grates in a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to remove residues. Use a bristle brush, soap, and water to clean them. You will also want to clean it after every use. 

Like with any time you are cooking, you will want to wash your hands before you start. If you are going to be grilling somewhere where soap and water will be unavailable, bring some with you. Alternatively, moist towelettes and bleach wipes can also be used for cleaning hands and surfaces.  

Next, remember to separate raw and cooked foods. Make sure you use a different plate for holding the cooked meat than the one you used for raw meat. You should also use a different cutting board and utensils for raw and cooked foods. 

bbq with kids

The next step is to ensure you cook food thoroughly to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. You must use a food thermometer to ensure the food has reached a safe temperature because you cannot tell if food is fully cooked just by looking at it. Without touching bone, fat, or gristle, place the food thermometer in the thickest part of the food. Beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees and then allowed to rest for three minutes after being removed from the grill before carving or consuming. All ground meats must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Finally, poultry should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees. 

Once you have enjoyed your meal, you need to refrigerate leftovers promptly. Leftovers must be refrigerated within two hours (or within one hour if the temperature is greater than 90 degrees). Any food left out longer than that should be thrown away. If you are reheating leftovers, they must be reheated or grilled to 165 degrees. 

Food Safety

It is estimated that each year, roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.  Taking the time to keep your food safe is well worth it!  It is very important to keep food safety on the top of your list when you are cooking or preserving.


CLEAN:  Washing your hands and cleaning surfaces often will reduce the risk of bacteria spreading.  Washing your hands and cleaning surfaces are especially important after handling raw meat.

SEPARATE:  Cross contamination is described when pathogens are transferred from one surface to another.  This occurs when ready to eat food such as fresh fruits and vegetables are cut on the same unwashed cutting board as raw meat.

COOK:  Making sure that food is cooked to the correct internal temperature is incredibly important!  Temping your food, especially meat, is critical to reduce foodborne illness.

CHILL:  Keep foods out of "The Temperature Danger Zone" (40 - 140 degrees Farenheit).  Harmful bacteria grow rapidly between these temperatures.  Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours to reduce bacteria growth.  Make sure your refrigerator is set to 40 degrees or below.

Food Safety Links


K-State Servsafe 

United States Food and Drug Administration

USDA Food Safety

K-State Food Safety

Safe Food Storage

Bargains at the grocery store aren't bargains if you buy too much and end up throwing those "bargains" in the trash.  Use this handy chart to see just how long you can keep that cereal, baking soda, and rice mix in the cupboard.food in cabinet


Alternative Protein Sources

Have you tried an "Impossible" Burger yet?  Use this K-State Research & Extension fact sheet to learn about alternative protein sources.

alt pro