When preparing food in the kitchen and cooking on the BBQ this summer, there are some important food safety rules you need to adhere to. By applying common sense, these basic hygiene principles mean you do not need to worry about possible food poisoning disasters.
Good food hygiene practices are important all year round, but especially so during summer as the heat causes bacteria that may have found their way into your food, such as staphylococcus or E. coli, to multiply. So, the best option to ensure your food is safe from these bugs is to follow the advice below.
Top tips for ensuring good food hygiene
- Wash your hands carefully before preparing food. To effectively wash your hands, use soap and warm running water and rub vigorously for at least 20 seconds ensuring you get under your fingernails. Dry your hands thoroughly using a clean towel. Use a hand sanitiser if running water is not available.
- Ensure poultry is thoroughly cooked. Either use a meat thermometer to check internal temps in the thickest parts reach 75 degrees Celsius or until the juices run clear.
- Anything that comes into contact with raw and cooked meat should be thoroughly cleaned, including benches and knives.
- Keep raw and cooked food well apart. Store raw meat in the bottom of the refrigerator in a covered container to remove the risk of any meat juices leaking on to other food.
- Make use of the summer weather and let dishes air dry rather than with a tea towel.
In New Zealand we love to make the most of the warm weather and spend more time outside. Food cooked on a BBQ seems to have more flavour but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the food isn’t also going to make people unwell.
- Make sure your BBQ tools have been cleaned before using them, and have separate utensils and plates for raw and cooked food.
- Keep your hands clean between handling raw and cooked food.
- Ensure meat is thoroughly defrosted so it can cook evenly.
- It can be tricky to ensure sausages and poultry are cooked through on a BBQ as high temperatures can char the outside while leaving the inside raw. The best option is to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature is 75 degrees Celsius.
- Ensure surfaces where meat has been sitting are cleaned well afterwards.
- Cool, pack and refrigerate food within two hours after eating–less if the weather is hot.
Find out more about food safety in the home
For more food safety tips and how you can protect your family, visit www.foodsafety.govt.nz/ccc
Written by Robyn
Robyn creates content on Kidspot NZ. Her hobbies include buying cleaning products and wondering why things don’t then clean themselves, eating cheese scones with her friends, and taking her kids to appointments.
Favourite motto to live by: “It’s just a phase.”