Grills just want to have fun this time of year, but you have to be careful when you cook with them, says Fadi Aramouni, a Kansas State University Research and Extension food scientist. "Common food safety mistakes, especially underestimating cooking times or overlooking the need to check cooked temperatures, increase the risk of food-borne illness," he says in a monthly bulletin from Kansas State University Research and Extension.

Researchers at Kansas State University have found that ground beef browns at different rates, so that browning is no longer an accurate indicator of doneness.

“With meats and poultry, the only sure way to test safety and doneness is by using a meat thermometer,” Aramouni says. “Primary food-borne pathogens, including salmonella, campylobacter and E. coli, are heat-sensitive. That means that cooking foods to recommended temperatures will kill any pathogens that may be present.”