Here are some tips from Health Canada for staying healthy during barbecue season.

Wash your hands and other utensils, like cutting boards, counters, knives and digital-read thermometers, with soap and hot water before and after handling raw meats to help avoid potential cross-contamination.

Use a digital-read food thermometer to ensure that meat is cooked properly. Colour alone is not a reliable indicator that meat is safe to eat. Meat can turn brown before all bacteria are killed.

To check the temperature of meat you are cooking on the barbecue, take each piece of meat off the grill and insert the stem of the digital thermometer through the thickest part of the meat. For burgers, insert the stem of the thermometer through the side of each patty, all the way to the middle.

Here are the safe internal temperatures recommended by Health Canada to make sure the food you're cooking is safe to eat:


  • Beef, veal and lamb (pieces and whole cuts): medium-rare 63 C (145 F); medium 71 C (160 F); well done 77 C (170 F)

  • Pork (pieces and whole cuts): 71 C (160 F)

  • Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck): pieces 74 C (165 F); whole 85 C (185 F)

  • Ground meat and meat mixtures (burgers, sausages, meatballs, meat loaf, casseroles): beef, veal, lamb and pork 71 C (160 F); poultry 74 C (165 F)

  • Egg dishes: 74 C (165 F)

  • Others (hot dogs, stuffing, leftovers): 74 C (165 F)