Everybody loves a barbeque, and the people in the office here have been having quite a few during the good weather over the past few weeks (after hiding inside from the rain!). One of our Food Safety experts has sent an email around the office to give us a heads up on some of the common mistakes that we all make.
Here are some of our essential food safety tips for barbecues this summer:
- Make one person responsible for the cooking beforehand, remember that alcohol and cooking do not mix.
- Make sure that food is fully thawed out before you cook it, and always keep raw food covered and out of the sun.
- Before you start cooking, make sure you are dressed appropriately, don’t wear a bikini, or very loose clothing. Wear an apron, and tie long hair back.
- Do not use flammable liquids to start the barbeque, and never add them to a lit barbeque.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or a fire blanket handy just in case, and don’t leave the barbeque unattended when children are present. It is also useful to keep a spray bottle of water near the barbeque to douse any flareups.
- Use the right tools for the job, barbeque tools are designed for the purpose with long heatproof handles.
- Always make sure that the meat (especially: chicken, pork, burgers, sausages and kebabs, etc) is fully cooked. This means cooked until steaming hot all the way through so that none of the meat is pink and any juices run clear.
- Do not start to cook too early, but wait until the charcoal is glowing red, with a powdery grey surface. If you don't you risk over-charring the outside of the meat while the inside is still raw.
- If barbecuing lots of meat, consider cooking it in the oven first and then finished off (without delay) on the barbecue for added flavour.
- Wash your hands regularly and always after handling raw meat.
- When reheating food on the barbecue, always make sure it's steaming hot all the way through before serving.
- Don't add sauce or marinade to cooked food if it has already been used with raw meat.
- Keep children and pets away from the barbeque at all times, even after you have finished cooking.
- Dispose of the ashes responsibly, make sure they are completely cold beforehand.
And remember, have fun, and don’t let the rain stop play, most barbeque food can be cooked in an oven or grill if the weather turns bad.