With some sunny weather here at last, our thoughts turn to cooking outside on the barbeque.
It’s a great way to spend time with family, friends and neighbours but just because you are cooking outdoors, don’t let your good cooking habits go up in smoke – you want them to go home with memories of a good time, not an upset stomach to remember you by.
To make the most of your barbeque, here are some top food safety tips from safefood for how to get it right every time.
Keep perishable foods like salads, coleslaw and quiche in your fridge until you are about to serve them.
Burgers, sausages and kebabs, pork and poultry must be cooked all the way through - but 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).
If you like to marinate meat, make sure any marinade used on raw meat is not then used as a sauce to coat vegetables or cooked meat as it will contain raw meat bacteria.
If you barbeque any frozen food, it must be completely thawed on the bottom shelf of your fridge before you cook it.
When handling raw meat and poultry, wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, and most importantly before going on to prepare salads and other ready to eat foods.
Once your meat is cooked thoroughly (piping hot, no pink meat and the juices run clear), make sure to keep cooked meat separate from raw meat and use separate chopping boards, cooking utensils and plates. Harmful bacteria in raw meat, poultry and their juices can cross-contaminate cooked food and lead to food poisoning.
If there are barbecue leftovers, allow the food to cool before refrigerating, however make sure to refrigerate food within two hours of cooking. And always remember that with any leftovers - if in doubt, throw it out.