With the sun set to shine, a barbecue is a must. But a summer barbecue can easily turn into a summer disaster if proper precautions aren’t taken to ensure food safety.
According to the Food Standards Agency, cooks are making their guests ill by charring meat but not cooking it all the way through – in fact, it claims the number of food poisoning cases are up by 27% compared to figures from the last 3 years.
We’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts to ensure a barbecue goes without a hiccup.
To light charcoal, always use proper BBQ lighter fuel. Never use petrol or other highly inflammable liquids.
If using gas, ensure that the grill lights immediately. If the grill fails to light at second attempt, turn off gas immediately leave for a few minutes then turn on and retry.
Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after touching raw meat and before serving and eating.
Always ensure that frozen food is defrosted before BBQ’ing so that it cooks evenly.
Always keep raw and cooked meats separate and keep uncooked meat, fish and vegetables separate from each other when preparing.
BBQ’ed food may look well cooked when it’s not. Burgers, sausages and chicken should ideally be checked with a meat thermometer or cut open and visually checked. If necessary continue grilling until cooked through
Do not position a barbecue near fences, hedges, trees, any over- hanging foliage or indeed anything that could catch fire.
Do not turn it up and down any time you want to. This will just make the barbecue time longer.
Never leave a hot grill unattended as it can cause nasty burns, or even serious fires if knocked over.
Spread germs - have plenty of clean tongs, plates and chopping boards ready - don’t use the same ones to handle raw meat and cooked meat.
Eat BBQ’ed food that’s been left out in hot weather for more than an hour.
Water and fire do not mix, and steam can cause burns. If flare-ups do occur, move the food to one side until the flames die down, and do not spray with water.