The BBQ season is well and truly underway! With many of us opting to catch up with family and friends at home, a BBQ is the ideal way to entertain and take advantage of outdoor dining. However, before you get grilling, check out these BBQ food safety tips, brought to you in association with safefood.
BBQ Food Safety Tips
Do you know what temperature you should cook BBQ meats to? If not, you are not alone – 50% of adults don’t know that it’s 75°C. That’s why we‘ve teamed up with @safefood.net to ask people to ‘Trust the meat thermometer’ and cook meat safely on the BBQ.
Other more general BBQ food safety tips include:
Clean That Grill
Before you get started, give your wire rack a good scrub with a damp brush coated in bread soda. Rinse well in hot soapy water afterwards and leave to dry over the heat of the BBQ before adding your meat, vegetables or fish.
Preparation is Key
Being prepared is crucial when it comes to food safety. You are less likely to get flustered and will have everything to hand to create a BBQ feast for the family!
- Before handling any food, wash your hands well. Wash them again with soap and water if you handle raw meat or fish before you touch any other foods.
- Keep raw foods separate from cooked food and remove dishes that contained raw food as soon as you have transferred the ingredients onto the grill. This will help to avoid cross contamination.
- Have the correct utensils ready – you will need a longer tongs than usual to keep your hands away from the intense heat of the BBQ. And you should have separate utensils for handling raw food and cooked food.
- Ensure any frozen items are completely defrosted before cooking. Allow at least 24 hours for every 2-2.5 kg (4-5 lbs). Once food has thawed, cook or eat it within 24 hours. Remember don’t refreeze it!
- If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water before adding your ingredients. This will make them less likely to burn.
- Keep cooked food covered until you are ready to serve. And keep other foods like coleslaw, salad and dressings in the fridge until you need them.
It’s in the Marinade
If you marinade meat before cooking, don’t use the marinade from the meat to coat vegetables or cooked meats, as it will contain raw meat bacteria.
If you do want to reuse the marinade, bring it to a rolling boil on the hob before you serve it.
How to Check Your Meat is Fully Cooked
Burgers, sausages, pork and chicken should always be cooked to 75°C. To check the temperature correctly you should:
- Take the meat off the heat
- Insert a clean thermometer into the thickest part of the meat – usually the centre or for a whole chicken it’s between the breast and the leg
- The meat is fully cooked when the temperature reaches 75°C
You can use a dial or digital meat thermometer and you should always wash the meat thermometer properly after use. For more advice, go to safefood.net
If you are unsure about cooking over coals, of you’re cooking for a large group, you could cook your meat indoors before adding it to the BBQ for that smokey flavour.
If you have any leftovers, place them in a suitable, covered container immediately. Remove them to a cool place until they are ready to go into the fridge. Eat them within 3 days and, if you are reheating, ensure they are piping hot before serving.
Following these simple BBQ food safety tips and guidelines should ensure that everyone stays safe and you have no upset tummies.
For further information and tips check out safefood.net where you will also find some delicious BBQ recipes too.