The Minnesota Health Department is urging consumers to grill meats thoroughly, keep raw and cooked meats separate and keep barbecued meats warm to avoid foodborne illnesses.
The department is offering tips for safe grilling.
That includes keeping meats and poultry refrigerated until they're ready to be used, and marinating meats in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
Cooked meats should be kept warm until served, setting them to the side of the grill or putting them on a warming tray or in a warm oven. Food shouldn't sit out for more than an hour when the outdoor temperature tops 90 degrees.
Backyard chefs should also use separate dishes and utensils for raw and cooked meats.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says more than half of Americans grill outdoors year round.
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