Grill Cleaning Safety Tips

| 2 min read

Man using a scrub brush to clean grill
According to a British study, the average BBQ grill contains 1.7 million microbes per square centimeter, which is 124% more than your toilet seat.
The culprit? You probably let the grill cool down and ignored it after your last BBQ. This allows bacteria from uncooked meats and food to make a home in the grill grates, edges and inside the lid, eventually becoming illness-inducing germs.
To prevent unwanted foodborne illness, follow this guide to a safer and healthier grill:
Cleaning the grill
What you’ll need:
  • Work gloves
  • A large bucket filled with warm soapy water
  • A grill brush
  • Paper towels
  • Hose spray
Before you begin, check that all the knobs are in the off position and disconnect the propane tank if you have a gas grill.
  • Remove the grill racks and place in the bucket of soapy water to soak. Turning up the heat is not a reliable way to kill extra bacteria!
  • Scrub the hood and inside walls with a grill brush and soap, then wipe dry with paper towel.
  • Remove your soaked grill racks and stand them up against a wall or bench. Scrub the racks and drip pan thoroughly, then rinse.
  • Replace the grill grates and drip pan back to its rightful spot and reattach the propane tank. Test to ensure the grill will turn on once you hook up the gas and start the grill.
  • Germs love the work surfaces on the side of the grill where most raw food is placed. Disinfect the outside of the grill and scrub down any surface that raw food may have touched.
While you cook
  • Preheat your grill for at least 15 to 25 minutes ensuring it reaches the right temperature before placing food on the rack.
  • Avoid cross contamination by using separate cutting boards, utensils and platters for raw and cooked foods.
  • Keep a squirt bottle of water near the grill to quickly douse any unexpected flare-ups.
  • Cook meat until it’s completely cooked to your liking.
After the food has been served
  • Don’t let food sit out buffet-style all day. The maximum time any food, including side dishes, should be left out is two hours.
  • Keep your grill clean for your next BBQ by using your grill brush to scrape the grill racks while the grate is still warm.
Photo credit: arinahabich

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.