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Summer’s Coming, Fire Up the Grill! Standards Keep Barbecues Safe and Fun All Season Long

New York, May 23, 2014

As the rising temperatures and growing swarms of mosquitoes announce that summer is on its way, millions of Americans will kick off the season over the long Memorial Day weekend by holding a festive outdoor barbecue. And while voluntary consensus standards probably aren’t the first thing you think of when pondering your upcoming cookout, these documents play an important role in keeping your celebrations safe and running smoothly.

When it comes to ensuring a successful summer barbecue, few elements are more important than the grill used to cook hamburgers, hotdogs, and other summer delicacies. If you’re using a traditional charcoal grill, there’s a standard from ASTM International, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member and audited designator, that’s there to help. ASTM D1762-84(2013), Standard Test Method for Chemical Analysis of Wood Charcoal, provides guidance for the determination of ash, moisture, and volatile matter in charcoal made out of wood. For those using electrical barbecues, an international standard from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has you covered: IEC 60335-2-78 Ed. 2.1 b:2008, Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 2-78: Particular requirements for outdoor barbecues, sets down safety information for electric barbecues intended for outdoor home use. This international standard was developed by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances. The U.S. holds the Secretariat of IEC TC 61, with UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.), an ANSI member and audited designator, serving as the delegated secretary and associated U.S. National Committee (USNC)-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator for the committee.

While a growing number of U.S. residents enjoy veggie burgers and vegetable skewers as part of their barbecues, meat still dominates the nation’s grills. ANSI GELPP 0002-2002, Good Environmental Livestock Production Practices (GELPP): Concentrated Livestock Operations - Production Areas, assists with the raising of livestock – including cows, chickens, and pigs – whose meat is found in hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken wings, and other popular grilled foods. The standard, which was developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer the National Pork Producers Council, outlines practices for livestock production at animal feeding operations, and is intended to reduce the risk of negative environmental impacts and odor incidents related to the commercial raising of these animals.

Once the meat is ready to come off the grill, it’s the condiments’ time to shine! And to support the production of mustard, one of the most iconic of these condiments, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed a helpful International Standard providing information related to mustard seeds, one of mustard’s essential ingredients. ISO 1237:1981, Mustard seed -- Specification, provides important information related to mustard seeds, including test methods, marking and packing guidelines, and transportation and storage condition recommendations. This International Standard was developed by ISO TC 34, Food products, Subcommittee (SC) 7, Spices, culinary herbs and condiments. ANSI member the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS) serves as administrator of the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO TC 34.

No matter where you hold your barbecue this weekend or what you toss on the grill, standards will be standing by, ready to lend a hand.

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