MYTH: Bar­be­cues are likely to cause food poi­son­ing RE­AL­ITY: They can make you ill, but poi­son­ing your guests is eas­ily avoided

Friday - - Health -

“Badly cooked meat is a breed­ing ground for bugs and sal­mo­nella, the bac­te­ria that cause food poi­son­ing,” says Ali­son. “Tak­ing meat out of the re­frig­er­a­tor early and leav­ing it in the sun poses an­other sal­mo­nella risk. Fam­ily pets such as cats and dogs, who wan­der round and sniff food, may carry worms that can be passed on to hu­mans. People tend to use their fin­gers more at bar­be­cues, and if they haven’t washed their hands this could cause in­fec­tions among guests.”

What to do

1 Clean the bar­be­cue thor­oughly af­ter ev­ery use.

2 Don’t take sal­ads and pre-cooked veg­etable dishes out of the re­frig­er­a­tor un­til all the meat is ready; they at­tract germs if left in the open for too long.

3 Once the meat is cooked, place it into a warm oven to keep it hot, and keep away bac­te­ria. If you’re not near an oven, have a deep roast­ing pan with a tight-fit­ting lid to put the meat in, and keep it as near the bar­be­cue as pos­si­ble, to keep the meat pip­ing hot.

4 Try to en­sure all the meat is ready at the same time. Put items such as chicken that need more cook­ing in the mid­dle of the grill. Thin­ner meats that need less heat can line the slightly cooler edges of the grill, so ev­ery­thing cooks at the same time.

5 Don’t have the grill too close to the coals as this will burn meat on the out­side and leave it raw on the in­side.


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