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We love to grill outside but I’m worried about the carcinogens from those “extra crispy hot dogs.” Do you have any tips for keeping my family safe and eating well this summer?

There is nothing better than the aroma and taste of summer grilling! Unfortunately, there is now ample research indicating that cooking meats at high temperature with flames that cause excessive charring increases the presence of HCA’s and PHA’s which are the chemicals known to increase the risk of cancer. As with so many other things in our lives, moderation is the key.

Marinating meats for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling provides a protective mechanism that prevents these chemicals from developing. Cut back on grill time, reduce the heat being used and avoid direct flame to the foods being cooked. Before cooking, clean your grill thoroughly to remove carcinogenic residue that builds up over time. Processed meats such as hot dogs and sausages also have an increased risk associated with these potential carcinogens.

Consider swapping grilled meats for grilled vegetables and fruits, which do not carry the same risk. This will allow you to enjoy that Bar-B-Q charred taste because the previously mentioned chemicals develop only in muscle proteins.