Food Standards Agency releases guidelines to stop people poisoning themselves at barbecues

PUBLISHED: 16:31 22 August 2014 | UPDATED: 16:31 22 August 2014

barbecue.

barbecue.

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A series of guidelines have been released by the Food Standard Agency (FSA) to stop people poisoning themselves at their bank holiday barbecue.

The FSA says that cases of food poisoning almost double during the summer, with the undercooking of raw meat and the cross-contamination of bacteria being among the main reasons.

It is highlighting the risks from the campylobacter bug, which is present in nearly 60 per cent of chicken sold in the UK and can lead to sickness, diarrhoea, disability and worse.

Tips include pre-cooking the meat or poultry in the oven first and then finish it off on the barbecue for flavour and making sure that burgers, sausages, chicken and all meats are properly cooked.

This is done by cutting into the meat and checking that it is steaming hot all the way through, that none of it is pink and that any juices run clear.

Disposable barbecues take longer so always check that your meat is cooked right through.

You can avoid cross-contamination by storing raw meat separately before cooking and using different utensils, plates and chopping boards for raw and cooked food.

Finally, don’t wash raw chicken or other meat because it splashes germs.

Councillor Mike Cornwell, Fenland District Council’s Cabinet member responsible for environmental health, urged people to heed the FSA’s advice.

He said: “Everyone loves a barbecue but the last thing you want is to be struck down by food poisoning at the end of it. So if you’re planning to have one this weekend or any time over the summer, make sure you follow these tips.”

For more information, see www.food.gov.uk/lovebbq and www.food.gov.uk/chicken.

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