We’re taking off our snug fitting gas fitter plumber hat and putting on a chef’s hat for this post. After what seems like an endless winter, barbecue time is finally here, and we’re looking forward to some outdoor dining when we get home from our gasfitting and plumbing duties. We’re sure you feel exactly the same but before you fire up your gas barbecue, here are some food safety tips. Much of this advice is plain common sense, but it never hurts to be reminded every now and again.
- Give your barbecue a thorough clean before you begin paying particular attention to the hotplates and grills that you’ll be cooking food on.
- Wash your hands before you start cooking, and never touch raw food with your hands. Always use tongs.
- Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy and any other food that requires refrigeration must be lept in the fridge until just before cooking or eating. The longer it stays out of the fridge, the more exposed to bacteria it becomes.
- Keep salads, dips and other perishables, especially those made with mayonnaise, in the fridge until just before serving. Never leave them on an outdoor table while you’re cooking meat and put them back in the fridge as soon as you’ve served them.
- Never let uncooked meat, poultry or seafood come in contact with other foods or common food surfaces. Keep them refrigerated in leak-proof containers to avoid contaminating other foods.
- Keep food covered to protect against windblown dirt, insects and animals.
- Precook chicken, sausages and minced meat then barbecue until it is over 75 degrees celsius.
- Have separate utensils, plates and other equipment for raw and cooked foods – using just one set will mean you transfer pathogens from raw meats to cooked foods.
- Do not re-use plates or utensils that were used for raw meats, poultry or seafood.
- Leftover cooked food should be refrigerated within two hours and consumed with two days.
As we said, this is pretty basic stuff but food poisoning is common during barbecue season so these tips are not followed as often as they should. We wish you many months of great outdoor dining, and if you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor kitchen with a full gas oven, get in touch and we’ll service it before you fire it up!