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Don't get friends, family sick while grilling

CDC reminds you to 'separate, don't cross-contaminate' Memorial Day

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If you're planning to fire up the grill this Memorial Day Weekend, remember: safety first. Dr. Susan Rehm, who treats infectious diseases at Cleveland Clinic, says cross-contamination should be a concern each time you have a cookout.

"There are bacteria on every piece of raw meat and raw poultry that we have, and to a certain extent it's just a matter of whether it is disease-causing bacteria, or something else, but there are always bacteria there," she explained.

Cross-contamination occurs when juices from uncooked foods come into contact with safely cooked foods, or other uncooked foods. To be safe, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends separating raw meats, poultry, seafood, and eggs. Each should have its own plate, cutting board, and utensils.

If you carry meat or poultry to the grill on a plate, immediately wash it while the food is cooking, or get a new plate. Do not put the cooked food on the plate that you used to transport raw meat without washing it. You can also use paper plates and get rid of them right away.

Rehm says we should also wash our hands before, during, and after each grilling session.

"When we touch something, we get bacteria on our hands and we transmit with our hands to other surfaces," she added.

The CDC uses a simple slogan to remind us all how to safely grill on Memorial Day, or any day.  They say, "Separate, don't cross-contaminate."

Read more from the CDC on what you can you do to protect yourself and your family from food poisoning.