How to be food safe at a barbecue
Everyone loves a barbecue, but it’s important to make sure everything is cooked properly.
While many food safety guidelines are common sense, here are a few tips you may want to consider
Take care when preparing food
One of the big causes of food poisoning is cross contamination of cooked and raw food. Make sure you use separate knives, chopping boards and other utensils when preparing food you’ll cook and food that will be eaten raw, and always wash your hands when moving between the two.
This is especially important with a barbecue, where you might be using tongs to put raw meat and fish on the grill and to take cooked food off. Always use a different pair of tongs for raw and cooked food.
Marinade in the fridge
Barbecued food is best after absorbing a marinade or rub, but the hot weather means this should be done in the fridge rather than on a kitchen counter.
Don’t mix cooked and raw
Don’t use any sauce or marinade that’s had raw food in it on cooked food unless you’ve boiled it thoroughly first to kill any bacteria. Alternatively, set some of the marinade aside to use later before you add the meat to the main batch.
Likewise, don’t let raw food touch cooked food on the grill. If something is cooked, move it to a warming rack or serve it straight away before you start adding more food.
Check the temperature
Undercooked food just isn’t worth the risk. Keep a meat thermometer by the grill and check the temperature of everything before you serve it. The food should be steaming hot, the juices run clear and there should be no pink undercooked meat on things like chicken, burgers or sausages.
You can find all sorts of meat thermometers, traditional analogue models, digital ones and even smart meat thermometers that will send a message to your phone when the food is cooked to perfection.