I've always been conscientious about food safety when cooking (my family will say sometimes too much so). I'm the throw-it-out-if-any-doubt type. And I'm careful about keeping items that have touched raw meat/fish from touching food that is being served.
Food poisoning just sucks.
So it is with continual surprise, if not some measure of revulsion, that I see the "grill hygiene" practices, or lack of, that most people employ when barbequing.
It seems obvious to me that if you have just used a pair of tongs, or a spatula, to pick up raw meat and put it on the grill, then if you use the same tongs to pick up and serve the finished meat, you have just risked transferring any raw-meat pathogens on to the food you are serving.
This is why I always use one set of tools for placing new raw meat/fish onto a cooking surface like a grill, then another to turn
or serve the food once it has been cooking. This just strikes me as an obvious move anyone putting an ounce of thought into what's going on would make, to avoid food possible food poisoning.
And yet over years of watching people at the grill, at street parties, friend's houses, parties, you name it, I can count on "no" hands the number of times I've seen anyone care about this.
Not one single time have I ever seen someone use anything other than the same spatula or tongs to both handle the raw meat, turn the cooking meat, and serve the finished product.
And...it seems no one is getting sick.
So what is it? Am I just overboard about this? I think I'm helping avoid food poisoning, but literally no one else I've ever seen is taking any steps, and as far as I can see there hasn't been much issue.
Maybe the meats are so hot that even when served their surface kills any pathogens that may momentarily pass from the tongs?