Summers and outdoor barbecue parties go hand in hand. There is almost someone out there grilling up a storm on any given day of the week. If you plan to make the most of the BBQ season by cooking your favorite grilled foods, here are some safety tips to help you enjoy the season without worrying about falling sick.
Remember, Cleanliness is a Must
It is essential that you remain clean as well as keep everything around the cooking area spic and span in order to prevent harmful bacteria from transferring onto your food. Ensure to have a cleaning cloth to clean out the grill before and after cooking. Use towels and sanitizers for your hands while cleaning and cooking meat. Ensure to leave some hand sanitizers for guests as well. Wash your hands diligently before as well as after handling raw meat or poultry.
Follow essential food safety tips
A BBQ is never complete without meat. However, it is essential that you store, cook and preserve cooked meat properly at the right temperature to avoid bacterial contamination. Make sure you store raw meat under 40 degrees Fahrenheit (preferably inside the refrigerator or a cooler) up until the moment you cook it. Also make it a point to cook meat at an internal temperature at or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintain this temperature until the meat is ready to be consumed. A meat thermometer is your best bet when it comes to cooking meat at the right temperature.
Avoid cross contamination at all costs
Cross contamination is one of the major reasons for many individuals falling sick at BBQ parties. It basically means the germs residing on the raw meat get to move onto anything they want from cooked food and drinks to even your hands. It is essential that you avoid this by keeping raw meat cooled and far away from the cooked and ready to eat foods.
Handle raw and cooked meat in different plates, using different utensils for them as well. If any sauce comes in contact with the raw meat, throw it away immediately instead of using it for the cooked meat. Also wrap raw meat in plastic sheets before placing them inside the refrigerator or cooler so that the meat juices don’t seep outwards and contaminate the rest of the contents.
Freeze uneaten food without fail
Just because you cooked it doesn’t mean the ready to eat meat is safe from bacterial contamination. It is essential for you to keep a very close watch on all uneaten food and store them properly. The best bet here is to freeze uneaten food before two hours after it has been cooked.
BBQ parties are great, especially in the summers when you can cook your favorite foods outdoors. That said and done, you will need to follow some very basic BBQ safety tips to ensure that you (and the others at the party) don’t fall sick after consuming the food.