BBQ tips for this Labor Day weekend

Use these tips to have a safe and fun cookout the whole family will enjoy.

The grill itself. Before lighting the grill make sure that it is not near any combustible material, a deck railing, under any eaves or overhanging branches.

If it is a propane grill, check the propane cylinder hose for leaks and make sure the lid is open before lighting it. If it is a charcoal grill, use the proper starter fluid and never add fluid when coals or kindling have already been igniting.

Bristles on the grill. Before cleaning a grill with a wire brush, inspect the brush to ensure the bristles are not worn down or clogged and the brush head is not warped, which can result in bristles becoming loose. Loose bristles can become lodged in a person's throat if they eat food that picked up the piece of wire while on the grill.

There have been nearly 1,700 wire-bristle injuries in U.S. emergency rooms since 2002.

» RELATED: BBQ safety urged after Toronto boy injured by wire grill brush bristle

Temp your meat. Use a meat thermometer to ensure your food reaches the recommended USDA cooking temperature. Hamburgers should be cooked to 160 degrees and chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees.

Watch the clock. To avoid food-borne illnesses and bacteria growth, keep food out of the danger zone, which is between 40 degrees and 145 degrees. After two hours make sure food is placed in either refrigerators or back in coolers.

» MORE: Avoid the food danger zone

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