Cross-contamination of food occurs when bacteria or pathogens are transported from one object to another. This can happen in many different ways. A common source of cross-contamination comes from utensils that were used to prepare different types of foods. It makes good sense to use color-coded grilling tongs when handling raw meat, poultry or seafood. Using one color (such as red) for raw food, and another color for cooked, will ensure food safety.
Just as you would never use the same chopping board or knife to prepare raw meat and ready-to-eat foods, the same strategy should be applied to your grilling tongs. Once all your food has been prepared on the grill, it is then recommended that you use tongs of another color for serving and picking up the cooked food. If you already own two sets of tongs, you could simply wrap different colored tape around each. To make it easy to remember which tong to use at the appropriate time, see the following colors and their respective meaning:
Also, did you know that grilling tongs with nylon and/or silicone tips will grip the food better? They sure do, and these are some of my most favorite tools to use when grilling! Be sure to purchase a set that will be long enough for safety concerns, but short enough for easy handling. I think the 12-inch size is perfect; anything less than that gets my hand too close to the grill. Grilled Finger Kebabs are not on the menu!
Just another tip … Hot off the Grill. 🙂