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Corn on the cob Whatever you're cooking up, keep food safe for friends and family with our food safety tips.

Bugs such as E.coli O157, salmonella and campylobacter can cause serious illness. But you can steer clear of food poisoning by taking some simple steps.

When you're barbecuing, the biggest risk of food poisoning is from raw and undercooked meat.

Cooking barbecued food properly

barbecue kebabs Always make sure you cook chicken, pork, burgers, sausages and kebabs until they're steaming hot all the way through, none of the meat is pink and any juices run clear.

If you're barbecuing for lots of people, you could cook meat indoors and finish it off on the barbecue for added flavour.

Remember, when you reheat food on the barbecue, always make sure it's steaming hot all the way through before serving.

  • Wait until the charcoal is glowing red, with a powdery grey surface, before you start to cook.
  • Make sure frozen food is properly thawed before you cook it.
  • Turn the food regularly, and move it around the barbecue, to cook it evenly.
  • Check that the centre of the food is steaming hot.
  • Don't assume that if meat is charred on the outside that it will be cooked properly on the inside.

Keep raw meat away from ready-to-eat food

barbecue preparation Raw meat can contain food poisoning bugs. So if raw meat touches or drips onto food that is already cooked or ready to eat, the bugs can get onto that food. Bugs can also transfer onto food from your hands, chopping board, knife or tongs. This is called cross-contamination. You can prevent it by doing the following things.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat.
  • Use separate utensils for raw and cooked meat.
  • Never put cooked food on a plate or surface that has been used for raw meat.
  • Keep raw meat in a sealed container away from ready-to-eat foods, such as burger buns and salads.
  • Don't put raw meat products next to cooked or partially cooked meat on the barbecue.
  • Don't add sauce or marinade to cooked food if it has already been used with raw meat.

Check out our barbecue quiz

Popup windowAre you hot stuff when it comes to barbecue food safety? Find out by playing our fun quiz