Every summer around 40% of the U.K's population bring out their barbecues.
The smell of sizzling sausages and steaks drifts on the air, and the risks of food poisoning and other barbecue-related accidents increase.
These risks could be greatly reduced if the following simple precautions are taken.
Always wash your hands before starting the cooking
- wash salads and vegetables thoroughly
- ensure that tongs, skewers and forks are spotlessly clean
- ensure that the barbecue grill is thoroughly cleaned after use
- use separate utensils for raw and cooked food
- defrost frozen meat and poultry fully before cooking (ideally defrosting should be carried out in the fridge)
- keep raw and cooked food separate
- cover all food to protect it from insects and dust
- keep meat, salads and other perishable foods in the fridge until you are ready to use them - a cook box is suitable if a fridge is not available
- pre-cook poultry and then barbecue
- cook poultry, sausages, burgers and chopped or minced meats until the juices run clear
General Barbecue Safety
- site the barbecue away from fences, trees, hedges and wooden sheds
- choose a sheltered, level spot
- Never use petrol or paraffin on barbecues. Use fire-lighters or special starter fluid
- keep children and pets away from the barbecue
- use long-handled tongs to remove food from the glowing coals
- Never leave the barbecue unattended
- Always ensure that the barbecue is completely extinguished after use
- keep a bucket of water close by - just in case!