7 Golden Rules for a Safe Barbecue

If you’re planning a barbeque this July Holiday weekend, safefood has some advice to keep your food safe.

Dr Gary Kearney, Director of Food Science with safefood, said: “With Northern Ireland currently experiencing a heat wave and the July Holiday weekend now upon us, consumers might be thinking about cooking on a barbeque.

“If you’re planning to, remember any meat which has been minced or skewered, like burgers, sausages and kebabs, must be cooked thoroughly and never served rare or pink in the middle. This also applies to all poultry and pork. You’ll know these foods are cooked when they’re piping hot all the way through, the juices run clear and there is no pink meat left.”

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Seven golden barbecue rules from safefood on how to get it right every time:

1. Keep perishable foods like salads, coleslaw and quiche in your fridge until you are about to serve them.

2. BBQ foods like Burgers, sausages and kebabs, pork and poultry must be cooked and piping hot all the way through; you know they’re cooked when there is no pink meat and the juices run clear. Meats like steaks or whole meat joints of beef or lamb can be served ‘rare’ as harmful bacteria are on the outside only (and not in the centre).

3. If you like to marinate your meat, make sure any marinade used on raw meat is not used as a sauce to coat vegetables or cooked meat as it will contain raw meat bacteria.

4. If you barbecue any frozen food, it must be completely thawed on the bottom shelf of your fridge before you cook it.

5. When handling raw meat and poultry, wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, most importantly before prepare salads and other ready to eat foods.

6. Once meat is cooked thoroughly, make sure to keep cooked meat separate from raw meat and to use separate chopping boards, cooking utensils and plates. Harmful bacteria in raw meat, poultry and their juices can contaminate cooked food and lead to food poisoning, something your guests won’t thank you for.

7. If there are leftovers from your barbecue, allow the food to cool before refrigerating, however make sure to refrigerate food within two hours of cooking. Always remember with leftovers - if in doubt, throw it out.

For more information on food safety and healthy eating including recipes, visit www.safefood.eu and enjoy your barbecue, whatever the weather!