The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Think safety when cooking outdoors

Summertime represents the prime of grilling season. Making sure your grill is operated safely and food is handled correctly is important, so follow these guidelines:


  • A grill should be placed well away from a home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Grease and food debris can cause flare-ups that could be dangerous. Keep grills clean by removing grease or fat buildup from grills and in trays below the grill.
  • When using a propane-powered gas grill, check for leaks using a light soap and water solution along the hose. Bubbles will form if there’s a leak.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call 911.
  • If using charcoal for fuel, make sure coals are completely cool before disposing in a metal container. 

For more information on grilling safety, call 708.358.5600 or email

Food handling

  • Wash hands thoroughly between and after handling each different food item
  • Clean utensils, cutting boards and countertops after preparing each food item
  • Store meat products in separate containers or bags that seal
  • Use a food thermometer to check the final cooking temperature of meat and poultry; and place cooked meat on a clean plate.
  • Roasts and steaks should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 150°F, ground beef and pork to 160°F, fish to 145°F and whole poultry to 180°F.
  • Cooked foods should be refrigerated promptly to prevent growth of harmful bacteria.

Email for food handling guidance.