Safe Summer Eating

BbqFood Safety Week 2017 runs from 19 -25 June and is to highlight Safe Summer Eating.

There are over one million cases of food poisoning every year, alot of these cases happen during the summer months as a result of food not being stored correctly during the hot summer months, or food not being cooked correctly on BBQs.

Research shows that people are putting themselves at risk with poor food safety behaviour.

  • 48% of people asked did not check their fridge temperature
  • 37% of people did not know what their fridge temperature should be;
  • 58% of people thought that the way to defrost meat and fish safely was to leave it out at room temperature;
  • 19% of people admitted that they eat burgers when pink or there are red/pink juices present

Implementation of the 4 C's (chilling, cooking, cleaning and avoiding cross-contamination) can help to prevent most forms of food-borne disease.

Food Safety Week this year coincides with the National Picnic Week and it is intended that the message will focus on keeping food safe when picnicking as well as on safe barbecuing.

Keeping Food Safe whilst Chilling/Defrosting Picnic

  • Storing food properly chilled is the best way to ensure it will be safe to eat
  • Make sure that your fridge is set below 5C at the coldest part
  • Cool cooked foods quickly at room temperature so they can be stored in the fridge in 1-2 hours;
  • Store raw foods separately from cooked foods, covered on the bottom shelf of the fridge;
  • Do not defrost raw meat or raw meat products at room temperature (this will increase your chances of getting food poisoning).  Ideally food should be fully defrosted in the fridge.  If this is not possible, defrost in the microwave using the defrost setting, directly before cooking.
  • Ensure that any food you take out for a picnic or packed lunch is stored in a cool bag or box complete with ice packs where appropriate. 

Keeping Food Safe whilst Cooking

  • Cooking food at the right temperature and for the correct length of time will ensure that any harmful bacteria are killed;
  • Check that food is steaming hot throughout before you eat it.  This is extremely important on meats such as poultry, pork and minced products.
  • Burgers should always be cooked all the way through until steaming hot.  They should not be served red or pink as harmful bacteria can be present in the middle of the burger, causing food poisoning.