With temperatures at their peak, it’s that time of year when many of us are choosing to make the most of the summer weather and fire up the BBQ. Everyone loves a good get together in the garden for delicious BBQ food, but it’s important to give a little consideration to safety, after all, a trip to Accident and Emergency is not how you want to end your BBQ.
There are just a few things to be aware of before you get cooking;
- Make sure your BBQ is well away from trees, fencing, sheds, and any garden waste.
- Set up away from areas where children or pets will be playing.
- Before you light the BBQ, make sure you have a bucket of water, sand or the garden hose handy.
- Don’t use too much charcoal, just enough to cover the bottom of the BBQ should be enough.
- NEVER leave a BBQ unattended
- Be patient, never be tempted to use petrol to speed things up.
- Never empty the ashes into plastic bins, if they are still hot they could easily start a fire.
Another aspect of BBQing is to make sure the food you’re cooking doesn’t make anyone ill. It’s much more difficult to estimate cooking time when using a BBQ. Chicken especially can look very well done on the outside, but still be undercooked inside leaving your guests with food poisoning.
To ensure food safety at your BBQ;
- Pre-cook the meat, especially if you are expecting lots of guests. You will still get that BBQ flavour, but can be sure it is completely cooked.
- Don’t leave cold food like coleslaw and salads out in warm temperatures for any length of time.
- If you are cooking raw meat on the BBQ, make sure you use different utensils for serving cooked meat to avoid contamination from raw to cooked meat.
- Always make sure that any frozen meat in thoroughly defrosted before it goes on the BBQ
More than 500,000 cases of food poisoning occur each year in the UK – salmonella being one of the main reason people end up in hospital. According to RoSPA, in 2002 an estimated 1,800 people visited A&E in the UK having had an accident involving a barbecue. By following a few safety tips and being careful with the cooking of food, you can ensure that your BBQ is one to remember for all the right reasons!