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Food Safety Tips for Barbecuing

The summer months are a favourite time for enjoying barbecues. People continue to suffer from food poisonings because important food handling procedures were not followed while barbecuing. By following safe food preparation, cooking and storage, food handlers can minimize the risk of foodborne illness this barbecue season.

At the store

When you’re at the grocery store, buy cold food at the end of your shopping. Make sure to keep raw meat separate from other products.

In the refrigerator

Store raw meat in the refrigerator immediately after you return from the grocery store. Always remember to keep food out of the temperature danger zone of 4°C to 60°C (40°F to 140°F). Bacteria can grow in this temperature range.

Cross-contamination

To prevent cross-contamination and the spread of foodborne illness:Keep raw meat away from other foods, including vegetables.
Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat.
Clean all your cooking equipment, utensils and work surfaces, and then sanitize them with a mild bleach solution (combine 5 mL (1 tsp) of bleach with 750 mL (3 cups) of water).

Thawing

Always thaw meat in the refrigerator. Microwave defrosting is acceptable if the food item is placed immediately on the grill. Meat should be completely thawed before grilling so that it cooks more evenly. Cook thoroughly and use a digital food thermometer Raw meat must be cooked properly to a safe internal temperature to avoid foodborne illness. To check the temperature of meat that you are cooking on the barbecue, take it off the grill and place it in a clean plate and insert the digital food thermometer through the thickest part of the meat.

Leftovers

Cool food by using shallow containers in the refrigerator, so that it cools quickly.

For more information on barbecuing or on food handling in general, please call 705-267-1181 or 1-800-461-1818.