If you’re aiming to round off a sensational summer with a barbecue this weekend, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has served up some advice to help make it a sizzling and safe success.
The top tips are:
- Pre-cook the meat or poultry in the oven first and then finish it off on the barbecue for flavour
- Charred doesn’t mean cooked! Make sure that burgers, sausages, chicken and any other meat is properly cooked by cutting into the meat and checking that it is steaming hot all the way through, none of it is pink and that any juices run clear
- Disposable barbecues take longer to cook, so always check that your meat is cooked all the way through
- Avoid cross-contamination by storing raw meat separately before cooking, use different utensils, plates and chopping boards for raw and cooked food
- Don’t wash raw chicken or other meat, it just splashes the germs!
Why it’s important
Cases of food poisoning almost double during the summer and research shows that the undercooking of raw meat and the contamination of bacteria onto the food we eat are among the main reasons.
Most of us have heard of salmonella and E.coli, which are well known causes of food poisoning, but you may not be aware that 65% of chicken sold in the UK contains a bug called campylobacter, which can lead to sickness, diarrhoea, disability and even worse. Those most at risk are children and older people.
If you want your barbecue to be remembered for all the right reasons, then follow the FSAs advice on beating the barbecue bugs. To find out more visit: www.food.gov.uk/lovebbq.