Safe Summer eating
There are approximately one million cases of food poisoning each year, with many types of food poisoning like E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria being more common in summer months, where the warm weather provides an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. Whatever your summer menu, a few simple controls can stop you and your dining companions from becoming ill.
Having a BBQ?
It is a good idea to cook food thoroughly in the oven before finishing it off on the BBQ. You get the same BBQ taste whilst knowing food is thoroughly cooked.
Charred or blackened food doesn’t mean that the food is cooked all the way through. Check that food is steaming hot with no pink meat inside. It is particularly important that burgers are cooked through thoroughly to kill any harmful bacteria in the middle of them.
Keep equipment like tongs and plates that are used for raw meat separate from those used for ready to eat foods.
Don’t leave picnic food out at room temperature for longer than two hours. This time includes any preparation time if food is being kept out of temperature control whilst the picnic is being prepared. Use cool boxes and ice packs to store any food that needs to be kept cool until you are ready to eat it.
If food has sat out of temperature control for more than two hours, pack it up and throw it away when you get home so no one is tempted to snack on it.
Wash fruit and veg before you leave the house. And don’t forget the importance of washing your hands before eating!
When food is kept out at warm temperatures harmful bacteria can grow quickly. If you need to cool food then cool it as quickly as possible before putting it away in the fridge. Defrost any food in the fridge overnight rather than out at room temperature. And check that your fridge is managing to keep your food cool (ideally between 0-5° C).
Before eating out, getting a takeaway or buying food from a shop you can find out what the food business’s hygiene rating is at