Christmas barbecue safety message

17 December 2013
Whanganui and MidCentral DHBs are asking people planning to use their barbecue over summer to do all they can to make sure their food is prepared, stored and cooked safely.
MidCentral-based health protection officer Tui Shadbolt says warm summer temperatures and food cooked outdoors provide the ideal environment for bugs to multiply in food and cause foodborne illness.
Unfortunately, people often become ill after eating undercooked, barbecued food with many choosing to eat it out of politeness, rather than let the host know.
Remember to follow the Clean, Cook, Chill message to help ensure your barbecued food is safe:
  • clean your barbecue before cooking
  • wash and dry your hands before you prepare food and every time after you touch raw meat or poultry
  • before you start handling food make sure all barbecue tools and all surfaces on which you put food are clean
  • - chicken, meat patties and sausages before barbecuing
  • marinate meats in a covered container in the fridge
  • have clean plates and cooking utensils ready
  • keep raw meat away from other ready-to-eat foods
  • remove cooked food from the hotplate using clean utensils before adding any more raw meat
  • turn the food regularly so that it cooks evenly
  • minced meat, meatloaf and sausages should be cooked until steaming hot right through, and pork and poultry juices should run clear - use a thermometer
  • use a clean plate for cooked items
  • if the supermarket is more than 30 minutes from your home, pack your chilled and frozen purchases in a chilly bin
  • keep meat, poultry and other perishable foods cold until you are ready to cook them
  • separate raw meat and poultry from cooked and ready to eat foods in the refrigerator
  • keep your food covered to prevent contamination from insects, birds and pets
  • cover and refrigerate any leftovers as soon as possible after cooking
  • throw out perishable food that you have left at room temperature for more than two hours.
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