If you’re aiming to round off the summer with a barbecue this weekend, West Lindsey District Council and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have served up some advice to help make it a sizzling and safe success.
With the last long weekend of summer coming up, even people who have been glued to the World Cup and Commonwealth Games are likely to throw down the TV remotes in favour of throwing some food on the barbecue.
Cases of food poisoning almost double during the summer, and research shows undercooked raw meat and contamination are among the main reasons.
The FSA’s simple advice shows how to prepare food safely in advance and cut the risk of spreading those barbecue bugs.
The top tips include: Pre-cook meat or poultry in the oven first and finish it off on the barbecue for flavour.
Charred doesn’t mean cooked, so make sure burgers, sausages, chicken and all meats are properly cooked by cutting into the meat and checking it is steaming hot all the way through, that none of it is pink and that any juices run clear.
Disposable barbecues take longer so always check meat is cooked right through.
Avoid cross-contamination by storing raw meat separately before cooking and using different utensils, plates and chopping boards for raw and cooked food.
Don’t wash raw chicken or other meat, it just splashes germs.
Salmonella and E.coli are well known causes of food poisoning, but nearly 60% of chicken sold in the UK contains a bug called campylobacter.
Campylobacter poisoning can lead to sickness, diarrhoea, disability and worse. Those most at risk are children and older people.
Find out more about the FSA’s top tips at www.food.gov.uk/lovebbq
For more on barbecue safety and on using barbecues in open spaces, go to www.west-linsey.gov.uk