Make your BBQ a sizzling success
When the sunshine comes out, so does the nation’s barbecue kits thousands of us yearn to eat Al Fresco.
But so many people get it wrong and end up with a dose of food poisoning rather than a day to remember.
Recent Government figures revealed that cases of food poisoning tend to double in the summer months – many of those from eating under-cooked BBQ food.
But, with a little care and attention, you can ensure your BBQ turns out to be a sizzling success! Here are a few simple steps to safer BBQ food: Safer Food Check List
- Check the foods that you are using for the BBQ are within their use by date. (If it’s past the manufacturers ‘Use by’ date, it’s susceptible to the growth of food poisoning bacteria.)
- Keep all raw meat covered and store at the bottom of the fridge. (This helps avoid meat blood / juices dripping onto other foods and contaminating them.) Remove from the fridge when you are ready to put it on the BBQ.
- Keep all raw meats separate from other cooked foods. (Cooked foods that will be eaten without further cooking could contain food poisoning bacteria if placed in direct contact with raw food.)
- Your fridge temperature should be between 1° and 4°C. In hot weather you should turn the fridge temperature a little lower.
- Make sure you use clean equipment and work surfaces. Disinfect carefully before and after use.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently when handling food.
- Kill any food poisoning bacteria by cooking thoroughly, at a high temperature. But, remember: burnt outside doesn’t mean it’s cooked on the inside!
- Ensure all food is thoroughly defrosted. Do not refreeze any foods once they’ve thawed - they could be contaminated with bacteria that might not be killed by freezing!
- Raw pieces of meat in small portions will help ensure thorough cooking, with an inside core temperature of a minimum of 75°C.
- Food should be eaten as soon as it’s cooked. Don’t leave it to stand in the sun or out of the fridge as this allows food poisoning bacteria to multiply. Once any leftovers have cooled, it is essential to refrigerate them quickly.