Holiday Safety Tip Reminders

What goes up will most assuredly come down. When a firearm is discharged, the bullet will travel a path until it strikes someone or something. Not only can someone get hurt, it is illegal to discharge a firearm in the city of Cleveland (Codified Ordinance 627.20).

Leave fireworks to professionals in areas designated and cleared for fireworks displays. They’re not only illegal to possess and discharge without a permit but they can also be extremely dangerous and easily ignite a fire that can quickly get out of control.

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Remember to cook all food thoroughly to avoid food-related illness!

Holiday Safety Don’t Tips:

  • Please don’t drink and drive.
  • Please don’t swim in areas prohibiting swimming and always swim with a buddy.
  • Please don’t boat in areas prohibiting boating.

Cooking Over the Holiday Weekend Safety Tips:

This weekend, many people will fire up their grills and should keep these safety tips in mind. Unsafe handling of food products can cause serious illness, including E.Coli, salmonella, and related health issues. That’s why it’s important that every cook follows these important food safety tips for grilling outdoors:

  • Wash Your Hands
    • You should always wash your hands before and after handling raw meat and poultry, after touching dirty kitchen equipment, utensils, dishes or work surfaces and when hands are visibly soiled. Hand washing is the most important action to stop spreading infection and disease.
  • Keep Cold Food Cold
    • Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use. Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the grill.
  • Cook Thoroughly
    • Cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very fast on the outside. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature. Beef, veal, and lamb steaks, roasts and chops can be cooked to 145 °F. Hamburgers made of ground beef should reach 160 °F. All cuts of pork should reach 160 °F. All poultry should reach a minimum of 165 °F. NEVER partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later.
  • Keep Everything Clean
    • Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters. To prevent foodborne illness, don’t use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juices can contaminate safely cooked food.
  • Reheat Completely
    • When reheating fully cooked meats like hot dogs, grill to 165 °F or until steaming hot.
  • Keep Hot Food Hot
    • After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot until served at 140 °F or warmer. Keep cooked meats hot by setting them to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could overcook. At home, the cooked meat can be kept hot in an oven set at approximately 200 °F, in a chafing dish or slow cooker, or on a warming tray.
  • Serve the Food on a Clean Platter
    • When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter. Don’t put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry. Any harmful bacteria present in the raw meat juices could contaminate safely cooked food.

Grill Safety Over the Holiday Weekend:

Grill Safety Tips:

Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings and out from under leaves and branches. Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic. Keep children and pets away from the grill area: declare a three-foot “safe zone” around the grill. Use long-handled grilling tools to have plenty of clearance from heat and flames. Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill. Additional tips include:

  • Charcoal Grills
    • Use the proper starter fluid and store it out of reach of children, and away from heat sources. Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited. Never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid.
  • Propane Grills
    • Check the propane cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will quickly reveal escaping propane by releasing bubbles. If you determine your grill has a gas leak by smell or the soapy bubble test and there is no flame: turn off the propane tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.

About Daniel Williams

City of Cleveland, Ohio, Director of Media Relations

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