It’s National BBQ Week and summer is here at last. What better way to make the most of the lighter evenings than to celebrate with a BBQ. While it’s great fun to sit outside and eat with friends and family, safety should never be forgotten. Here at Love Your Gut we have put together some top tips so you can stay safe this BBQ season.

Raw Meat

The two main risks which arise from cooking BBQ food include; the consumption of raw meat and the cross contamination of germs such as E.coli and salmonella from raw meat to other prepared foods. Reduce the risk of food poisoning by:

  • Ensuring coals are hot enough to cook meat. They should always appear glowing red inside and grey on the outside. Be patient, this can often take up to 45 minutes.
  • Cooking meat through thoroughly by ensuring it is piping hot inside, with clear running juices and no pink meat visible.
  • Avoid cross contamination by washing your hands well after touching raw meat.
  • Use separate cooking utensils for raw and cooked foods.
  • Keep raw meat well away from ready to eat foods.


Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is produced when fuel such as charcoal on a BBQ burn incompletely. CO is an odourless and colourless gas and can kill at high levels. Protect your friends and family from CO poisoning by keeping the BBQ out of enclosed spaces such as tents and buildings. BBQ’s should be placed in a well ventilated area, even when cooling down.


Enjoy in moderation.

Although most of us love to make the most of a short spell of warm weather, frequent BBQ consumption could be putting your health at risk. Cooking meat at high temperatures over an open flame can form chemicals such as heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s). Research has shown that these chemicals can cause changes in DNA which can increase the risk of cancer and studies have shown that the consumption of well done, fried or barbequed meats is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Be kind to your gut by enjoying BBQ’s in moderation or try meat free alternatives at BBQ’s. Take a look at our recipe for a healthier BBQ-