Grilling Cross Contamination

776
293
Joined Sep 17, 2018
So the grilling/BBQ season is wrapping up for most home cooks around here this month and I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this subject. I've been to several grilled events at friends and families' homes and noticed a lot of people will use a pair of tongs to grab raw meats out of a bag/container and then transfer to a grill, and then just stand there with the tongs outside of any heat and then use them to plate the cooked food. It kind of grosses me out and I'm under the impression that the time spent flipping or moving any meat is not really enough to kill off the bacteria on the cooking utensils. Not a earth shattering question just wondered if anyone else i bothered by/has come across this. Thanks.
 
3,991
828
Joined Dec 18, 2010
That’s just nasty. But how many people do you know that suffered any real consequences because of that... probably none.
 
776
293
Joined Sep 17, 2018
That’s just nasty. But how many people do you know that suffered any real consequences because of that... probably none.

Not really sure. I know I've had food poisoning like symptoms before but generally I don't discuss them with anyone so I would imagine if someone was sick they either wouldn't know where it came from or wouldn't talk about it in casual conversation.
 
2,619
230
Joined Mar 21, 2008
Heat from the cooking will kill any bacteria that get transferred BUT I prefer to wash things off... but I use a gloved hand to move meat to the grill then toss glove... tongs only get used on what is cooking.
 
776
293
Joined Sep 17, 2018
Good to know I'm not the only one that goes back inside to wash my utensils off in between cooking.
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
4,509
998
Joined Oct 7, 2001
Yes, it has the potential for cross contamination and in setting where you are working with many, many pounds of meat, and serving a lot of people you want to take all the necessary precautions as pooling all that meat significantly raises the potential for contamination. That being said, when I am at home, it is usually 1 pair of tongs and I don't wash between raw product and cooked. Never made anyone sick.
 
7,675
842
Joined Apr 3, 2008
I think about this too in the kitchen as well. You use tongues to transfer raw meat to a pan, then what do you do? Hold on to those tongues and continue flipping and serving the meat? At least when you’re grilling you can insert the tongues in the grate and heat it up to kill the bacteria. In the kitchen I just grab a new pair of tongues to remove the meat from the pan.
 
2,293
899
Joined Jan 8, 2010
I just stick the tongs in the fire after handling raw meat, like Koukou says.
In the kitchen I generally handle meat by hand and just wash my hands straight after. Once in the pot/pan, I use tongs, fork or whatever tool is close by
 
12
0
Joined Oct 19, 2018
Yes, it has the potential for cross-contamination and in setting where you are working with many, many pounds of meat, and serving a lot of people you want to take all the necessary precautions as pooling all that meat significantly raises the potential for contamination. That being said, when I am at home, it is usually 1 pair of tongs and I don't wash between raw product and cooked. Never made anyone sick.
Americans overreact when it comes to handling food :) If you get food poisoning than your meat must have been old/spoiled. One of my favourite dishes is tartare eaten raw: made of raw beef, raw egg yolk, olive oil and variation of pickles/vegetables/ condiments. I love it and never ever had any food poisoning. And by the way, I am not saying washing hands/thongs is not allowed or unwise (it is a must in commercial kitchens) but c'mon - food poisoning comes of bad food, not food.
 
2,403
410
Joined Oct 9, 2008
Americans overreact when it comes to handling food :) If you get food poisoning than your meat must have been old/spoiled. One of my favourite dishes is tartare eaten raw: made of raw beef, raw egg yolk, olive oil and variation of pickles/vegetables/ condiments. I love it and never ever had any food poisoning. And by the way, I am not saying washing hands/thongs is not allowed or unwise (it is a must in commercial kitchens) but c'mon - food poisoning comes of bad food, not food.
We
 
1,483
240
Joined Jan 31, 2012
This never really happens to me.....like was mentioned above I keep my tongues in the fire.
For one thing, it makes them easier to eventually clean.
Besides, I rarely handle raw meat with tongs, I tend to use my gloved hands.

I tend to agree with malcor.... people are maddeningly paranoid about the danger
of food these days especially meats. And not just consumers, cooks too.
For instance, I ate at a buffet the other night that had a meat Carving Station,
ham and roast beef. Not only did the servers have absolutely no clue how to carve
meat, but that roast beef was cooked to death, dry as cardboard, with a similar
flavor profile. Got the sense that whoever cooked it was making darn double
sure that that meat had an internal temperature of 155 or more. Aka by the book.
Just ruined it.
 
58
6
Joined Nov 14, 2017
So the grilling/BBQ season is wrapping up for most home cooks around here this month and I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this subject. I've been to several grilled events at friends and families' homes and noticed a lot of people will use a pair of tongs to grab raw meats out of a bag/container and then transfer to a grill, and then just stand there with the tongs outside of any heat and then use them to plate the cooked food. It kind of grosses me out and I'm under the impression that the time spent flipping or moving any meat is not really enough to kill off the bacteria on the cooking utensils. Not a earth shattering question just wondered if anyone else i bothered by/has come across this. Thanks.
I know nothing about this but am glad you brought it up; it's a necessary learning experience.
 
776
293
Joined Sep 17, 2018
Americans overreact when it comes to handling food :) If you get food poisoning than your meat must have been old/spoiled. One of my favourite dishes is tartare eaten raw: made of raw beef, raw egg yolk, olive oil and variation of pickles/vegetables/ condiments. I love it and never ever had any food poisoning. And by the way, I am not saying washing hands/thongs is not allowed or unwise (it is a must in commercial kitchens) but c'mon - food poisoning comes of bad food, not food.

I agree with most of what you are saying but I don't think it's as easy as saying food poisoning only comes from bad food. Here in the states we are constantly having recall issues with the food supply because of cross contamination and the like. This is also not limited to just raw meats, there has been several outbreaks with items like spinach and romaine lettuce right on the shelves. All of these foods that were contaminated weren't spoiled but were being sold to consumers as fresh produce.

While yes generations of peoples have gotten by without using strict food sanitation but the food in market today is vastly different. The chicken you get packaged at the store is not anywhere near as safe as a freshly butchered bird and with increased cases of contamination in products in stores it's important that the general populace get some kind of education.
 
4,618
1,131
Joined Nov 5, 2007
If you don't know the difference between tongs and tongues you cooking and your taste buds might suffer.

mjb.
 
1,483
240
Joined Jan 31, 2012
Well now you know my secret to accurately taste testing what I cook--multiple tongues.
Some might even be forked.

But in the end, I think the message here is clear...... thats what I get for dictating my posts!
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom