BBQ Food Safety Tips
A little late but anyway, here are some ideas from a site called 50-plus. These are mostly things that we should know already but I thought would be great stuff as BBQ season is just starting up for most people.
It is awfully hard to stay and get healthy when you are giving yourself food poisoning
Always keep your hands as well as anything touching food clean
- Handwashing is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of bacteria. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after handling food.
- Also wash when you switch from one food to another
- Keep counter tops and utensils sanitized. Tip: you can make your own sanitizer by combining 5 mL (1 tsp) of bleach with 750 mL (3 cups) of water in a spray bottle. (Don’t forget to label the bottle!)
- When camping or on a picnic, be sure to bring clean water. You may also want to consider using waterless hand sanitizer or disposable wipes.
Avoid cross contamination
- Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter or outdoors. Don’t reuse marinade that contained raw meat; if you want to use some of the marinade as a sauce for the cooked food, be sure to reserve a portion of it before marinating.
- Tip: when marinating food in the refrigerator, place it in a dish with sides to prevent it from dripping on other food such as produce.
- Keep raw and cooked foods strictly separate. Don’t use a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry or seafood for anything else unless it has been thoroughly washed in hot, soapy water.
- When packing a cooler for a picnic, wrap raw meats securely and place on the bottom to keep them from dripping on other foods.
- Wash all raw fruits and vegetables in clean water. Keep in mind that you cannot detect bacteria by the way the food looks, smells or tastes.
- Sanitize counters and work spaces frequently.
Cook food until really cooked
The safe chef doesn’t depend on guess work! Make sure you kill harmful bacteria by cooking food thoroughly.
According to Health Canada, the safe temperatures for cooked foods are:
- 71° C (160° F) for ground beef
- 74° C (165° F) for leftover food
- 85° C (185° F) for whole poultry
Tip: If you have to check more than once, clean the thermometer before using it again.
Eat cooked food while it’s still hot bacteria can grow when food is allowed to cool down slowly.
And contrary to popular belief, health experts say hot dogs should always be cooked to kill bacteria called Listeria.
Put leftovers in the fridge right away
A barbecue can be a great party but remember that food shouldn’t be left out for more than two hours.
On very hot days, 32º C (90°F), food should be refrigerated after only one hour.