COLLEGE STATION, Texas — For those of you who might have lost track of time staying at home, Memorial Day Weekend is here. In a time where many people are grilling and spending time with family and friends, it's important to still take precautions to have a safe and fun weekend.
With social distancing still in place for most of the nation, people may resort to having cookouts at home this year.
“If you do grill, make sure you have some ability to put the fire out, make sure you don’t leave it unattended. Charcoal left unattended has a tendency, especially if you get a little bit of a wind to blow embers and those can really start fires that take off pretty quickly. Make sure you’re watching your children, not leaving kids around the barbecue grill, and when you’re finished, make sure you put it completely out," said Bryan Fire Department Assistant Fire Marshal, Gerald Burnett.
He added that it’s important not to leave your kids around the barbecue grill and make sure the fire is out or the gas is turned off completely before walking away from it.
“As long as you pull it away from the house you’re not going to get in trouble. You can get in trouble safety-wise if you try to grill at on your porch, in your garage. I’ve seen it happen where the rain’s come up so people decide to pull the grill into the garage, we don’t want to do that, barbecuing close to the house, is a really dangerous thing to do, you don’t want to barbecue within ten feet of any combustibles," said Burnett.
On top of using the grill safely, one local BBQ restaurant says it’s important to be aware of how you are cooking your food.
“[One] thing that we see is cross-contamination, if you season your steaks on a pan and take them out and put them on a grill, then sometimes people will take those same steaks back in the pan that they came off of and there’s raw blood there. The best thing to do is put some foil or plastic wrap on the pan, put your steaks on that, take them to the grill, take the cover off the grill the put the steaks back on," said J Cody's BBQ owner, Cody Whitten.
After you are done grilling, it’s crucial to store that food in the correct way.
“The time and temperature violations that we see of people cooking food and leave it on their counter after eating it and they put it up later. And temperatures are less than 135 degrees, are hot, and then above 41 degrees cold is the danger zone. So you want to keep things cold or hot depending on what they need to be," said Whitten
He also wanted to remind people that there are great meat shortages right now across the country, so be prepared for higher prices on meat.