WACO -- No Independence Day party is complete without grilling, but cooking outside tends to lend itself to some hazards you may not realize.
For example Central Texas Chef Mark Schneider says never put cooked meat on a plate where raw meat was.
"Raw meat on one [platter], take it to your grill, start grilling, take that to the kitchen, put it in the dishwasher, and then get a brand new platter to retrieve the meat off the grill," Schneider said.
Forty-eight million people get food poisoning each year, mostly from meat.
So Chef recommends a food thermometer.
"165 for all ground meats whether it's chicken, beef, pork."
A minimum temperature of 130 degrees for whole cuts of meat like steak.
Also, use long tongs on the grill and mitts that will cover your hand and wrists in case of flare ups.
"Keep the grill away from a structure, keep combustibles away from the grill, keep it a safe distance away from your house," Keith Guillory with the Waco Police Department said.
And to keep you safe and your meat tasting better--
"Heat your grill high first, then turn it down, and cook on a medium high flame. That will also help with flare up. One, that's safety, and two it actually gives you a better flavor not having the gases transferred into the steak by the flame," Chef Schneider said.
But in case of emergency,
"Have a water hose handy, or even a fire extinguisher is even better," Guillory said.