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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – Cleaning grill grates, keeping a clean workspace and properly storing and preparing meats are all important to maintaining food quality and avoiding foodborne illness, said Dawn Dockte, Childress County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family and Community Health Agent in a press release.
Cleaning the grill grate is not as simple as it may seem, according to a release from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office. People think scraping the grate clean with a wire brush is an effective way to clean it. But for those using a substandard wire brush, some of the metal particulate can get transferred on the grate, into the food and then ingested, which can cause some serious health problems.
Using a nylon brush on a cool grate can be an effective measure in removing most of the large pieces of charred food from the grate, Dockte wrote, adding not to use a nylon brush on a hot surface as it could melt the bristles. Grates of smaller grills can be removed and washed with soap and water or possibly power washed if the equipment is available.
Another effective way to clean grates is to ball up a piece of aluminum foil to where there are still some rough edges and use that to thoroughly scrub the surface. Some people cut an onion in half and use the flat surface of the onion to clean the grate, the release stated. The onion has an acidic content that helps break down the leftover food and will also add a little more flavor to the item being grilled.