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
The agency said food poisoning was a real danger of outdoor
cooking, with 94% of people admitting to at least one bad barbecue habit.
In 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
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
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.