Barbecue Tips From The Food Standards Agency
It's not Summer without a barbecue. But every year people fall ill to food poisoning from barbecues which could be easily prevented.
The FSA’s Food & You survey has indicated a gap in people’s knowledge around food hygiene and, amongst other things, the importance of cooking meat thoroughly. It found that 19% of people said that they eat burgers that are pink or have pink/red juices.
So we've teamed up with The Food Standards Agency to help you stay safe while barbecuing this summer.
The survey also highlighted that 43% of people have been served undercooked meat at a barbecue, potentially contributing to the 1 million cases of food poisoning every year. The survey also found that, despite a third of people (33%) saying they worry about food hygiene at barbecues, many admit failing to check the meat in the correct way before serving it: 61% don’t check there is no pink meat inside; 63% don’t check that the juices run clear; and, 84% don’t check that the meat is steaming hot.
Over 33 million (51%) people expected to attend or host a barbecue this year, and cases of food poisoning from Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella rise in the summer months. A rare beef burger, for example, is three times more likely to contain harmful E. coli bacteria than a well-cooked burger, which is why burgers should be thoroughly cooked at home, until steaming hot all the way through.
Heather Hancock, Chair of the FSA Board said:
“When you’re at a barbecue, remember that most types of meat should be cooked thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. A beef burger, for example, isn't like a steak - it has bacteria present throughout. To make it safe to eat when prepared at home, it must be cooked through. Some restaurants are able to offer their customers burgers less than thoroughly cooked, but only because they have strict controls in place that are regulated and checked by enforcement officers.”