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Enjoying Summer Foods on the Grill!



Thursday, June 27, 2019


Perth County  ̶  Summer is on its way and the barbecues are heating up! The Perth District Health Unit wishes you a summer filled with nutritious, delicious, and safe backyard barbecues.


Good to Grill

Canada’s new Food Guide recommends enjoying a variety of nutritious foods with family and friends. Grilling vegetables and fruit and plant-based protein foods is a great way to enjoy healthy food during the warm summer months.


Have you tried grilled corn-on-the-cob, peppers and onions, or asparagus? What about grilled peaches or pineapple for dessert? If plant-based protein foods are new to your backyard barbecue, this summer consider making these beef and lentil burgers:


For more recipes and ideas, visit the Health Unit’s blog Diaries of a Dietitian:


Safe Grilling

The Perth District Health Unit is also reminding backyard chefs that hot, humid weather means bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella, can grow quickly in food.


“The risk of foodborne illness goes up in the summer,” warns Michelle Sergio, Public Health Inspector. “It’s important to prepare food safely so that people don’t get sick,” says Sergio.



  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after handling food
  • Wash dishes, cutting boards and counters with hot soapy water and sanitize using a mild bleach solution (1 tsp bleach per 4 cups of water)
  • Always wash raw vegetables and fruits in clean water.



  • Keep raw foods separate from cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination
  • Store raw meat on the bottom of the fridge or cooler to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods
  • Use a clean plate to bring cooked meat in from the barbecue.



  • Kill harmful bacteria by properly cooking food
  • Use a food probe thermometer to measure the inside temperature of cooked meats
  • Cook all hamburger meat to an internal temperature of 71°C (160°F).
  • Cook all poultry pieces to 74°C (165 °F) and whole birds to 82°C (180°F).



  • Thaw meat in the refrigerator, microwave, or under cold running water – not at room temperature.
  • Never let meat or poultry sit out at room temperature or in the sun for more than 2 hours.
  • Follow the simple rule: When in doubt, throw it out.


For more information: