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Outdoor grilling adds a lot of flavor without a lot of calories. But how sanitary is it to throw fresh meat on a grate you haven’t used since last summer? Or on a public grill at a park or campground? The good news is, the heat quickly kills any microbes that sprouted on the grates since its last use. That’s from microbiologist Dr. Steven Porcelli, from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He says the flames essentially sterilize the cooking surface before food comes into contact with it. But still, if the grates are covered with charred residue, it can affect the taste of your meal. So scrape and rinse the grates before cooking. Or cook your food on top of aluminum foil.

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