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Councillor Jean Heywood, Environment Portfolio Holder Councillor Jean Heywood, Environment Portfolio Holder
28 August 2014 Written by 

Top tips for barbecue safety

The weather may have cooled a little over the past few days, but if you're aiming to round off the summer with a barbecue in the garden over the bank holiday weekend, the council and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are serving up some advice to help make it a sizzling and safe success.

Cases of food poisoning almost double during the summer, and research shows that the undercooking of raw meat and the contamination of bacteria onto the food we eat are among the main reasons.

Councillor Jean Heywood, Environment Portfolio Holder, commented: "We all want to protect the health of our family and friends, and the FSA's simple advice shows how we can prepare food safely in advance and cut the risk of spreading those barbecue bugs. Please do bear these simple messages in mind to help ensure you have a safe and enjoyable bank holiday weekend."

The top tips include:

Pre-cook the meat or poultry in the oven first and then finish it off on the barbecue for flavour.
Charred doesn't mean cooked - make sure that burgers, sausages, chicken and all meats are properly cooked by cutting into the meat and checking that it is steaming hot all the way through, that none of it is pink and that any juices run clear.
Disposable barbecues take longer always check that your meat is cooked right through.
Avoid cross-contamination by storing raw meat separately before cooking, use different utensils, plates and chopping boards for raw and cooked food.
Don't wash raw chicken or other meat, it just splashes germs.

Why it's important
You may have heard of salmonella and E.coli, which are well known causes of food poisoning, but you may not be aware that 65% of chicken sold in the UK contains a bug called campylobacter. Campylobacter poisoning can lead to sickness, diarrhoea, disability and even worse. Those most at risk are children and older people.

If you want your barbecue to be remembered for the right reasons, follow the FSA's advice on beating the barbecue bugs.

Find out more about the FSA's top tips at: food.gov.uk/lovebbq

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