Barbecue basics...a few good-to-know food safety tips

  • Keep meat in the fridge until you are just about ready to put it on the barbecue. Steaks can be taken from fridge to lose a little of its chill before cooking. Be mindful of the temperature of the kitchen or the heat of day. Around ten minutes is enough.
  • Keep raw and cooked meat covered to protect it from flies and other insects.
  • Keep perishable products in the fridge until needed. Guests may like to nibble on these throughout the function, but bacteria will also have a feast! It is best to serve small amounts and replenish with fresh portions as required. Don’t mix the fresh nibbles with ones that have been outside for some time.
  • Don’t use excess barbecue marinade over cooked meat before serving, if you want to make a sauce separate out some before adding the meat or heat it thoroughly before serving.
  • Put leftover cooked meats and other perishables into the fridge immediately.
  • Never stand meat (cooked or uncooked) in direct sunlight for any length of time.
  • Don’t use the same utensils or plate to handle raw and cooked meat.
  • Don’t mix up the cooking utensils. Preparation boards, knives etc, must be washed between handling raw and cooked meat. Never handle cooked and uncooked meats together. Do not cut them up on the same boards or with the same utensils. Wash tongs too.
  • Use a clean plate to rest the barbecued meat on (not the one it came from the kitchen on).
  • Never pour raw marinade over the cooked meat. You can heat the marinade (let it boil for a few minutes) if you do want to use it.
  • Cook steaks or kebabs to your liking (from rare to well done).
  • Cook beef burgers and sausages all the way through (no pink).

The 2 hour guide

  • If food has been out for less than 2 hours refrigerate it or use immediately.
  • Between 2 hours to 4 hours it should be used right away.
  • If food has been out of refrigeration or cooked and standing for more than 4 hours the food must be thrown out to avoid potential food poisoning.

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