With the outdoor cooking season in full swing, this is a good time to review best practices for barbecue safety and health. Whether you cook with propane, charcoal or wood, it’s important that you exercise extreme care in the use of your outdoor unit and its fuel. For example, always make sure you have a fire extinguisher at hand. Fire extinguishers are classified by the type of fire. Be sure to purchase the appropriate one. Also, be mindful to keep open flames away from any structure that could catch fire from an errant spark, and never leave a flame unattended.

Food preparation and refrigeration is equally important. Be mindful that during hot weather freshly cooked meat can grow harmful bacteria within an hour (or less) of being removed from high heat. Similarly, any dishes with egg or milk in their recipes will spoil very quickly, particularly in direct sunlight. Be sure to cover or chill your food until it is ready to be served.