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The summer grilling season is in full swing and as you turn the heat up on those grills, health officials hope you'll take the time to grill carefully and safely.

Caitlin Huth is the Health and Wellness Educator with the University of Illinois Extension says the obvious starting point is to make sure you have all your tools cleaned, and necessary materials stocked and ready. She says as you're cooking, make sure the meats are cooked thoroughly by using a food thermometer.

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Huth encourages you to incorporate fruits and vegetables with your meat choices. She explains not only does it provide a healthier option for your meal but the fruits and vegetables will often soak up some of the rub or marinades you may be using.

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Grill maintenance is very important as you grill this summer. Huth says cleaning the grates is very important. She also recommends a deep cleaning of the grill every so often.

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For other helpful tips and tricks during this grilling season, Huth updates several blogs about food and nutrition through the University of Illinois Extension website. Do a Google search for the University of Illinois Extension Macon County office for their site and to find her blogs.

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