BBQ Wars….Food Safety

The BBQ war is raging.  Do you side with Gas or Charcoal?  Which one do you prefer to use for a sizzling fun-packed eating experience?

It doesn’t really matter which side of the BBQ wars you are on…it is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.  Freshly cooked food done in the company of friends and family is an enjoyable way to spend time and to celebrate summer.       bbq 1

But beware….make sure that the food is cooked properly and thoroughly or else that great happy event will be remembered for the wrong type of experience.  Food poisoning is not pleasant and for the very young, or the elderly, it can be lethal.

We all want to serve up a sensational barbecue that also helps keep our family and friends safe. And it’s great to look spontaneous, but it’s safer and easier on the day if you prepare in advance. You can help avoid the build-up of food poisoning bugs by taking the following simple steps.

Here is a 6-Point Plan for a safe BBQ issued from the Food Standards Agency

  1. Pre-cook, it’s a very good idea to cook all chicken (including chicken on the bone) in the oven prior to giving it a final ‘finish’ on your barbecue. Your friends and family will still experience that special barbecue ‘scorched’ taste – and you will know that you’ve cooked the chicken all the way through. This technique can also be used for sausages, burgers and kebabs if you’re cooking for large numbers, as you’ll want to avoid providing undercooked food.
  2. Charred doesn’t mean cooked, cook your barbecue food thoroughly until you are sure that your poultry, pork, burgers, sausages and kebabs are steaming hot, with no pink meat inside. Turning meat regularly and moving it around the barbecue will help to cook it evenly. Charred on the outside doesn’t always mean cooked on the inside so, it’s always safer to cut open and check your burgers, sausages and chicken. If in doubt – keep cooking.
  3. Disposable BBQs take longer to heat up and to cook food. Always check that your meat is cooked right through before serving.
  4. Avoid cross-contamination by storing raw meat separately before cooking, use different utensils, plates and chopping boards for raw and cooked food. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water and dry them before handling your food for the barbecue and after handling raw foods including meat, fish, eggs and vegetables.
  5. Don’t wash raw chicken or other meat, it just splashes germs. Cooking will kill any bacteria present, including campylobacter. On the other hand, washing chicken, or other meat, can spread dangerous bugs on to your hands, clothes, utensils and worktops by splashing.
  6. Don’t wash raw chicken or other meat, it just splashes germs. Cooking will kill any bacteria present, including campylobacter. On the other hand, washing chicken, or other meat, can spread dangerous bugs on to your hands, clothes, utensils and worktops by splashing.

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Find out more If you want your barbecue to be a sizzling success, find out more about the FSA’s top tips at: food.gov.uk/lovebbq