Have a sizzling and safe barbecue this bank holiday weekend
23 August 2016
Many people are hoping to round off the summer with a Bank Holiday barbecue this weekend. Before you throw the meat on the coals, Shared Regulatory Services and Food Standards Agency (FSA) can advise of the safest way to cook your burgers.
summer-foodWith gourmet burgers in restaurants becoming increasingly popular, some people may be tempted to serve their guests with burgers that are pink in the middle. But a burger is not like steak. Steak can be served rare because any contamination on the surface of the meat is destroyed when the steak is seared on the outside.
Burgers are made of minced meat, so any bacteria on the outside of the meat are mixed up during the mincing process. The only way to kill the bacteria is to cook the whole burger thoroughly. If the bacteria are not killed before the burger is eaten, it could result in food poisoning. That’s why a burger should be thoroughly cooked, with no pink bits in the middle. This Barbecue Weekend (27-29 August), rain or shine, the FSA is reminding everybody to:
cook burgers so they are steaming hot all the way through, no matter how expensive the meat
check that none of it is pink and that any juices run clear, and
avoid cross contamination by storing raw meat separately before cooking, using different utensils, plates and chopping boards for raw and cooked food.
Cllr Gwyn John, chair of the joint committee for Shared Regulatory Services comments, “Taking note of this advice can keep your friends and family safe. Children, elderly and poorly people are most vulnerable to food poisoning, but anyone can become ill after eating a less than well-cooked burger. Food poisoning doesn’t just lead to diarrhoea and vomiting – it could result in a life threatening illness.
“Even though you can’t see them, bacteria can still be there and can still make you seriously ill. Taking those extra few minutes to cook your burgers can make all the difference.”
If you want your barbecue to be remembered for the right reasons, follow the FSA’s advice on cooking burgers at your barbecue. Find out more about the FSA’s top tips at: food.gov.uk/burgers