There are still a few months to go before BBQ season commences. However, with the increasing trend of barbequing meat, fish, and veggies all year round for that subtle smoky flavour, we think it’s important to keep safety tips for outdoor food preparation fresh in everyone’s minds- even if the sun isn’t shining quite yet!
- Be Sure. We would suggest that you invest in an instant read thermometer. This is a great tool for giving you the peace of mind that your meat is properly cooked and up to temperature.
- Be Stable. Cooking on an open flame outside can be dangerous, so stabilise your environment before you start! Make sure that the ground is level, the BBQ is not wobbly, and there are no tripping hazards around.
- Be Clean. Outdoor surfaces can be much harder to keep clean. All sorts of things can contaminate surfaces when you’re outside, so be vigilant.
- Be Even Cleaner! As well as cleaning surfaces, it is vital that you keep your hands clean. This can be difficult to do outside- so take enough alcohol gel or wipes with you.
- Be Prepared. To reduce the washing up you have to do outside, take plenty of clean utensils and platters with you. use paper plates for uncooked meat, and then throw these away and use a new set of paper plates for the cooked meat.
- Be Cool. It’s very important to keep your cool when preparing and consuming food outside. At least, it’s important to keep your cooler cool! Cold foods and perishables must be kept cool (maximum 40oF or 4.4oC) to stop bacteria growth, and the best way to do this is by using a cooler. To keep the cooler’s temperature correct, you can insert ice packs or frozen water bottles. Also, keep the cooler closed for the most part- that way it will stay cooler for longer.
- Be Organised. In order to avoid nasty outbreaks of food poisoning, don’t cross contaminate. Keep raw meat and fish in separate sealable bags away from other foodstuffs and drinks. This will prevent the spread of bacteria from food that needs to be cooked, onto food that doesn’t.
- Be Forward Thinking. When you’ve finished eating there may well be some food left over that you don’t want to throw away. If you want to eat this later then make sure that you don’t leave leftovers sitting in the sun- you need to pack them away in your cooler if you want to use them later, and remember the old adage- when in doubt, throw it out.