Bank holiday barbecue advice from Richmondshire District Council

With an estimated 33 million people planning to have a barbecue over the bank holiday weekend, Richmondshire District Council has partnered with the Food Standards Agency to provide some top tips to help prevent food poisoning.

It is estimated that the UK reports 1,000,000 cases of food poisoning each year, with a rise in summer months, which is a potential consequence of unsafe barbecue food.

It is important to be aware of the dangers of foodborne diseases, such as Campylobacter, listeria and salmonella.

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With 28% of people concerned about food poisoning, there are ten easy tips for staying food safe when cooking on the barbecue:

1. COME CLEAN

Wash your hands thoroughly before cooking and eating. Wash your utensils and serving dishes in between use, taking special care not to mix up dishes used for holding raw food with dishes for cooked food.

2. KEEP YOUR COOL

Defrost your food in the fridge, NOT at room temperature, and ensure it is fully defrosted before cooking. When storing cooked food, cool it at room temperature before putting it in the fridge, but make sure you get it in the fridge within two hours.

3. FRIDGE CHECK

Generally, the colder the temperature, the slower the germs grow, so regularly check your fridge is cold enough – it should be below 5°C. Fridge thermometers are widely available in larger supermarkets, home stores and online.

4. DIVIDE AND CONQUER

Avoid cross contamination by storing raw meat separately from ready-to-eat foods. Use different utensils, plates and chopping boards for raw and cooked food. Do not prepare food for others if you are unwell.

5. STAYING COOL ON THE GO

Continue to keep food cool by using a cool box when heading out for a picnic or barbecue. On arrival, keep the lid on as much as possible and don’t leave food out for longer than two hours – or one hour if it’s very hot outside.

6. FEEL THE HEAT

Cook food at the right temperature and for the correct length of time to ensure that any harmful bacteria are killed. Turn meat regularly and move it around the barbecue to cook it evenly.

7. MARINADE MINDFULLY

When applying a marinade to meat, be careful. Don’t baste partially and cooked meat with a marinade that has been used on raw meat, as this can lead to cross-contamination. If you would like to apply the marinade again as a baste – boil it in a pan, and it will be safe to use.

8. DON’T BEEF UP THE BARBIE

Never overload your barbecue and remember that disposable barbecues take longer to heat up and cook food, so be patient!

9. CHECK IT’S DONE

Always check that meat juices run clear and that no pink meat is visible when cutting through the thickest part. Remember, charred on the outside doesn’t always mean cooked on the inside!

10. FINAL FINISH

Consider cooking all chicken and pork in the oven and then giving them a final ‘finish’ on the barbecue where possible. This ensures that meat is safely cooked through, whilst retaining that great smoky barbecue flavour.

For more information visit:

https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/barbecues