The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is urging anyone planning a barbecue to oven-cook the meat first. The UK government organization has estimated that 280,000 people a year suffer from food poisoning from barbecued food.
The agency said food poisoning was a real danger of outdoor cooking, with 94% of people admitting to at least one bad barbecue habit.
AdvertisementIn a survey of 2,030 adults, 21% said they believed they had been ill due to something they ate. And nearly a third admitted to not checking if food was properly cooked.
The FSA warned that food hygiene risks could lead to illnesses like campylobacter. Ahead of the late summer bank holiday weekend - a popular time for barbecues - the government agency issued tips to help people avoid food poisoning.
"Food poisoning is a real risk at barbecues and so we are reminding people to take good care of their families and friends by paying attention to simple food safety rules," said FSA chief executive Catherine Brown.
Among the FSA's tips was advice to pre-cook food before putting it on the grill.
It warned that "charred doesn't mean cooked", that meat should be steaming hot throughout - not pink - and any juices should run clear.
It also cautioned that disposable barbecues took longer to cook food, that raw meat should be stored and handled separately, and raw chicken should not be washed as it splashes germs around.
The survey of 2,030 people also revealed that 24% of those who described themselves as the main cook at a barbecue did not usually cook at home. One in five admitted to not keeping raw and cooked meat on separate plates, and more than half risked cross-contamination by using the same tongs throughout the process.
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