Sunshine set to return! The food safety habits you need to follow when barbecuing

The rain may be pouring outside today but fear not, the sunshine is set to return!

We could all do with a little bit of sunshine in our lives right now and Met Éireann says to expect a rise to 20 degrees over the weekend and bringing with it some bright sunny spells!

Whether you’re a self-proclaimed BBQ legend or a first-timer, it’s important to know how to cook foods like burgers, chicken and sausages thoroughly to avoid making you, your family or friends sick.  safefood is encouraging people to follow good food safety habits when preparing and cooking food on the barbeque this summer as part of its Well Done BBQ Burger campaign.

While we like to think we’re all grilling experts, new research carried out by safefood in June 2020 uncovered that 45% of us are at risk of getting sick from eating under-cooked burgers as we don’t cook them to well done.

The research also revealed that we’re lacking in confidence when it comes to knowing when BBQ meat is thoroughly cooked, with 50% of those surveyed saying they find this challenging. 

Dr Gary Kearney, Director of Food Safety at safefood explains, “While we all hope to cook on the barbeque more frequently during the summer months, this research reveals that many of us still lack the confidence when it comes to knowing how to properly cook meat & poultry. Foods like burgers, chicken and sausages must be cooked thoroughly, and absolutely never served rare or pink in the middle as this can cause food poisoning. You know they are cooked when they’re piping hot all the way through, the juices run clear and there’s no pink meat left.   With our tips & advice, we want people to have confidence in safe BBQ cooking by following good food safety advice and avoiding any food poisoning situations so that they can keep their families safe. Lots of practical help and recipes are available on the safefood website www.safefood.eu.”

Supporting safefood’s Well Done BBQ Burger campaign are Russell Alford and Patrick Hanlon, BBQ aficionados and food and travel writers aka Gastro Gays, who said: “Cooking on the barbecue is one of the best ways of eating during the summer months. However, going to all that effort is pointless if meat is not cooked thoroughly and you run the risk of making yourself, your family or your friends sick. By following food hygiene guidelines and making sure you’ve a well done burger that is cooked thoroughly throughout will ensure your BBQ crown will stay intact. All you will have to worry about is the sun shining!”

Additional findings in safefood’s research revealed that when it came to our favourite food to cook on a barbeque, burgers came out on top (69%), followed by sausages (57%) then chicken (54%). 

When it comes to BBQ disasters, there are a few common challenges. safefood’s research revealed that 45% of us have burnt the food on the outside, while it was still raw on the inside. 37% claimed it took too long for the BBQ to heat up, and 16% of those surveyed have set fire to the BBQ.

Further food safety advice and recipes are available on the safefood website, www.safefood.eu

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