Everyone is hoping 🤞 for more nice weather.
And , with great weather, comes the possibility of a BBQ.
I mean, who doesn’t like an impromptu BBQ…., friends, cold beer, hot weather, and of course lovely food. Sausages ad burgers taste soooo much better when cooked over a real BBQ don’t they!
I originally trained as an Environmental Health Officer. One of those duties is investigating possible food poising cases. I won’t give you the gruesome details, but needless to say, Ive seen some common themes coming up.
So, I’ve put together my top 5 tips, for ensuring a safe BBQ, whether having it yourself, or popping round to a friend’s:
Its OK to go first !!
If you can’t eat gluten, it’s probably safest to take your own GF food with you. Avoid cross contamination by asking for your food to be cooked first, or on a separate BBQ if possible. It’s OK, they wont mind, honest. Also, remember to take your own bread!! Well meaning friends may get GF bread for you, but you don’t want the stuff that sticks to the roof of your mouth. 😬
There’s no rush.
Sometimes, taking things a bit more slowly , works out best. Have you ever been to a BBQ and seen the BBQ being overloaded, kebabs piled on top of one another? It just means some don’t get cooked properly. Or, worse still, raw food being put on when there is cooked food on there? There’s a risk of cross contamination. The best thing to do is cook one batch of food, when cooked move it off, and then put fresh stuff on.
Separate is good.
Raw food and cooked food need to be kept separate, but that also means keeping the utensils and plates separate too. This is second nature for those who cant eat gluten, and are used to avoiding cross contamination with gluten. Its just a question of applying the same principles to raw and cooked food.
There is no such thing as pink chicken!
When my kids were small, chicken seemed to be the only thing they would eat. So, I used to con them in to eating salmon by telling them it was just pink chicken. 😶 But, we know that there is no such thing as pink chicken, so if the chicken looks pink in the middle… its not cooked. Same goes for sausages and burgers.
To be on the safe side, make sure all meat is cooked through completely, with no pink inside. The only exception is beef steak, which can be cooked rare if you like it that way.
It surprises a lot of people, to hear that cooked rice is a big cause of food poisoning. This is usually because rice dishes are cooked, and then not put in the fridge.
If you are preparing food in advance, remember it all needs to be kept in the fridge until you need it. This includes salads. Make sure salad items are washed before use.
Cooked rice can be cooled rapidly by putting it under cold running water, then refrigerating it until needed.
Have you tried fish?
A great, easy, no fail recipe
Take a salmon fillet (half a salmon) and cover with any dried or chopped herbs you have – nothing too overpowering. Mixed herbs are great.
Wrap it loosely in foil with the skin side down, and seal the top. No need for any oil.
Place on a medium BBQ for about 15 – 20 minutes, and it will gradually steam cook.
Check its cooked in the middle before serving with loads of salad.
And if you’re looking for dessert, our chocolate brownie, and sticky toffee pudd, are perfect warmed through on the BBQ. Delicious.