Food hygiene practice can avoid the spread of bacteria when cooking, handling, preparing and storing food. This helps to prevent food poisoning. Four steps to food safety There are four basic steps for food safety. Cooking your food Cooking food at the right temperature and for the correct length of time will ensure that any harmful bacteria are killed. Always check the advice on food packaging and follow the cooking instructions provided. Find out more about cooking your food on the Food Standards Agency website (external link). Chilling Chilling food properly helps stop harmful bacteria from growing. Find out more about chilling on the Food Standards Agency website (external link). Cleaning Effective cleaning removes bacteria on hands, equipment and surfaces. This helps to stop harmful bacteria and viruses from spreading onto food. Find out more about food cleaning on the Food Standards Agency website (external link). Cross-contaminiation Bacterial cross-contamination is most likely to happen when raw food touches or drips onto ready-to-eat food, utensils or surfaces. You can avoid this by following simple practices in the preparation and handling of food products. Find out about avoiding cross-contamination on the Food Standards Agency website (external link). BBQ safety Summer is a great time to enjoy a BBQ with family and friends. However, warm weather and outdoor cooking can be the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow. Then there are the risks of spreading bacteria from raw meat to ready to eat food, along with the risk of undercooked meat. Food poisoning can be avoided by following good food hygiene practices, such as washing your hands, cooking meat properly, and avoiding cross-contamination. More information about BBQ food safety on the Food Standards Agency website (external link).