Next week, the 7th of June marks the beginning of Food Safety Week, a week for us all to think about how we can consume food safely.
Food Safety Day was established in 2018 by The United Nations to raise awareness of food safety -Food Safety Day marks the first day of Food Safety Week, and since 2018, Food Safety Week has become an annual occurrence, celebrated to increase people's knowledge about foodborne illnesses and measures we can take to prevent them from happening. This year's theme is ‘Safe food today for a healthy tomorrow’ and urges people to reflect on the fact that food consumption and production have immediate and long-term effects. If we have exceptional food safety, then we’ll maintain better human health and well-being.
Here at Cinders, we take health and safety very seriously, and even more so when it comes to handling the barbecue. Every one of you will be responsible this week – whether you’re a chef, caterer, event planner, or someone who just loves cooking a good BBQ, food safety should always be your priority!
As with all food preparation, when it comes to using barbecues there are risks that may impact your health and safety. Barbecues are meant to be a fun and safe experience – let’s keep it that way! In this blog post, we have included some tips that will keep you safe whilst barbecuing, and we have also included ways in which you can celebrate and promote food safety week - because it’s safe to say we all love a good barbecue!
Barbecuing Safety Measures
One in ten people suffer from foodborne illnesses every year globally, here are some ways in which this could be prevented:
- Wash your hands – by making sure everyone is washing their hands, there is a minimised chance of harmful bacteria spreading onto the food.
- Thoroughly clean your grill and equipment – whether your grill has been sat out in the garden or if it was recently used for another BBQ event, ensure it is cleaned inside and out immediately prior to use to prevent cross-contamination.
- Food preparation – not only is the equipment important but you also need to handle the food properly. Don’t use any food that has gone past its use-by date and correctly defrost any frozen food.
- Location of barbecue – ensure your barbecue is on a flat surface, away from anything flammable which may pose human or property risks.
Avoid cross-contamination at all costs
As we know, when hosting a barbecue there are many different food products involved – red meats, poultry, fish, and vegetables. However, if the raw food touches any of the food that is ready to eat, it will encourage bacteria to grow which could result in food poisoning.
- Regularly wash your hands when touching different ingredients – especially after handling raw meats.
- Use different barbecuing equipment to stop the transfer of bacteria – make sure to change your chopping boards, utensils, and cutlery.
- Store raw meats away from other foods and store them in a cool environment to reduce the possibility of bacteria growth.
Barbecue your meat appropriately
As a chef or someone who just loves a good juicy steak, you will no doubt have a preference for how your meats are cooked. However, there are many things you need to consider when cooking your meats on a barbecue:
- Different meats will have different cooking time lengths – they need to be cooked at the right temperature for a suitable amount of time to kill the bacteria.
- Many types of meat cannot be undercooked and MUST be cooked all the way through, including – poultry, pork, burgers, kebabs, and sausages.
- Steaks – luckily enough, steaks can be served blue, rare, medium, or well done with no immediate risk to health!
- Some good indicators to know if your meats are cooked through – ensure the meat is piping hot, the meat juices are clear and not bloody, and the meat should not be pink when sliced through the thickest part.
(Remember: just because it looks burnt on the outside, does not mean it's cooked in the middle! Make sure to barbecue each side of your meat evenly to reduce this threat.)
Ways you can promote Food Safety Week 2022
- Organise an event at your restaurant or eatery – host a food tasting or cooking demonstration, focusing on the health and safety of barbecuing.
- Be creative – you could create a new dish for your menu for the week to promote Food Safety Week. Try being imaginative and produce something extra scrumptious to attract more customers!
- Post on your social media – engage with people on your social media accounts, post barbecue dishes and how they are cooked safely, and make sure to use the #WorldFoodSafetyDay to mark the week and spread the word.
That’s our list of the most important health and safety measures to consider when handling the barbecue. We hope you stick to these throughout Food Safety Week, but also whenever you’re cooking on the barbecue. As we said before, health and safety should always be a priority, no matter the day or week! As chefs, caterers, and event planners, you should encourage this campaign and support it by creating new dishes and hosting activities for people to get involved with. Like the campaign's slogan says, ‘Food safety is everyone’s business!’
The best barbecue equipment
Here at Cinders, we manufacture some of the best barbecue equipment on the market, and we are experts in the industry. All of our grills and products meet EU quality and safety regulations - our Trademark grill has been a success for over 35 years, so you can be sure to expect reliable and safe products! If you’re not looking to purchase right now but need to hire a BBQ for your event, we also offer a local search for barbecue rental services which you can find on our website.