The Great British summer is finally upon us and the warm weather is the ideal excuse for a barbecue! Dining al fresco with family and friends is the perfect way to unwind and enjoy delicious food and great company in the sunshine.

Barbecuing is indeed the essence of summer and chargrilled meat and vegetables taste divine with crisp, fresh salad. However, food safety must remain a priority and we need to remember to barbecue safely to avoid cross contamination, food poisoning, accidents and ill health.

To ensure that your barbecue is a success and that your guests are well catered for, we present our food safety tips for practical preparation, careful cooking and safe grilling:

  • Before you begin, check that the barbecue is stable, strong and sturdy and located outdoors, on level ground. Always take care when lighting it and never use petrol or other accelerants which are explosive and can cause serious injury!
  • Keep raw meat and poultry separate from cooked food to avoid spreading bacteria and foodborne diseases. You must wash your hands before and after handling raw foods and always use different utensils and plates for raw items and cooked produce.
  • Ensure that meat is thoroughly thawed before you begin the cooking process. Refrigerate all meats, salads and desserts until they are needed. Leaving food in the sunlight and in warm temperatures can lead to spoilage, waste and render it unfit for consumption.
  • Don’t wash raw chicken! According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), cooking will kill any bacteria present, including campylobacter, while washing chicken can spread germs by splashing.
  • Whilst everyone loves the delicious chargrilled, smoky flavour of a barbecue, we advise that you pre-cook meat and poultry in the oven, before transferring it the barbecue to give it that authentic taste. Undercooked poultry is a serious health hazard, leading to the transfer of diseases such as campylobacter, E. coli and salmonella. These bugs can have devastating consequences to human health, such as vomiting, fever and diarrhoea.
  • Ensure that chicken, sausages and burgers are cooked throughout and are not raw in the middle. Use a thermometer if necessary to check the internal temperature of the meat.
  • Keep food covered before and after serving. If there are any leftovers, refrigerate as soon as possible.
  • Finally, make sure that the barbecue is completely extinguished when you have finished cooking and ensure that it has cooled down significantly before you dispose of any coals

The information contained in this article has been created for marketing purposes and is not official guidance and should not be used as a substitute for official food safety, health & safety nor fire safety advice.

Food Alert take no responsibility if the information in the article is used to form part of a safety management system or used to form part of any legal or regulatory compliance for your business. For official guidance and to engage with Food Alert services please do call our team on 020 7244 1900 or email




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