If you’re interested in having a barbeque, you will likely spend a lot of time planning the things you are going to have available for grilling and eating, as well as the people you are planning on inviting. However, while it is not nearly as interesting to think of, you will also need to think about the techniques you will use for both preparing your food and storing it after you have made it. Here are some barbeque food safety essentials to keep in mind.
1. Food poisoning reports around the country become twice as common during the summer months as they are at any other time in the year. This is because increasing numbers of people rediscover the joys of eating in the great outdoors and try to have last minute barbeques rather than planning them out ahead of time.
Similarly, because people are more likely to drink alcohol at such times or keep friends and family entertained, standards for food hygiene can easily be missed or neglected amidst everything else that is going on.
2. A large percentage of cases of food poisoning that involves barbeques and grilling. As a result, it is important for you to properly prepare your food and keep your attention on safe cooking instead of on socializing or on showing off how well you work behind the grill.
3. The primary root of food poisoning at most barbeques is meat that has not been thoroughly cooked. With this in mind, it is essential to make sure that you are thoroughly and properly cooking any meat products you have on the grill. This also means you need to know ahead of time how much time it takes to cook different cuts of meat.
Similarly, if you plan on making food for a large number of people, it might be a good idea to first cook the meat in the oven indoors before transferring it to the barbeque for warming up and adding finishing touches.
While this might not seem as rugged or authentic as doing everything out on the grill, it is undoubtedly a safer tactic, as when you cook this way, you will know in advance that all of your meat is safe to eat, even if you get distracted among friends and family outdoors and forget your timers.
4. It is possible to develop food poisoning by eating safely cooked meat that became infected with germs that started in raw meat. This is known as cross contamination, and it is a frequent cause of summer sickness. Try to watch out for cooked and raw meats and keep them separate when you are outdoors or indoors. Make sure your guests are also aware of where the cooked meat is and where the raw meat is, and that there is no chance of either touching.
5. If you have frozen meat on hand, you will need to make sure it is thawed properly before you try to cook it on the grill. Improperly thawed meat can also lead to food poisoning. Since many people plan on holding their barbeques in the evening due to the later sunset times in the summer, it is important to start thawing your meat out earlier in the day so it is not left until the last minute and improperly thawed in a hurry.
6. Cross contamination can also occur when you use the same plates, tongs, or utensils to handle cooked meats and raw meats. However, it is also possible to spread germs with cooked and uncooked vegetables. As a result, make it a point to use separate utensils and tools when it comes to both preparing and serving food during the big day.
With these essential food safety tips in mind, you will know that your next barbeque will be as safe for you and your guests as it is tasty, and there will be no unpleasant surprises after everyone has eaten.