Whilst the British summer often lets us down there will still be plenty of opportunities to have BBQ’s and watch the sunset with family and friends. Although we may not think it at times, the warmer temperatures are an ideal climate for bugs and bacteria to grow causing an increase in food poisoning in the summer months. BBQ’s and picnics can also contribute to this increase as often the storage of food (during the transportation to your picnic’s to your chosen destination) and the preparation and cooking of meat on the BBQ is often an ideal situation for bacteria to multiply putting us at more risk of having an upset stomach. If food is not stored, prepared or cooked properly then food bugs like campylobacter, salmonella and E. coli can cause severe illness.
Following the below steps will take no extra time just a little thought and will help prevent the bacteria getting the better of us and making us ill.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after touching raw meat and before eating.
- Raw meat can contain harmful bacteria and should be separated from cooked and ready-to-eat food. Do not put raw meats near salad or burger buns.
- Use separate utensils for raw and cooked meat. Never put cooked food on a plate or surface that has been used for raw meat.
- Don’t add sauce or marinade to cooked food if it has already been used with raw meat.
- Barbecued food may look thoroughly cooked when it isn’t. To be sure that it is safe to eat; check that it’s piping hot all the way through, that none of the meat is pink and any juices run clear.
- If travelling with food ensure you take it out of the fridge at the last possible moment and pack with ice back to keep cool for longer.