Barbecue season is here.
New Zealand Food Safety is reminding everyone to be good hosts during the warmer months as we need to be extra cautious when preparing, cooking and storing food.
The traffic light system has given us the go ahead to get together with our friends and whānau responsibly, and the warm summer nights are in full swing.
People are gearing up to host friends and whānau in the backyard, the grills are being rolled out and dusted off and the empty gas bottles are off to the petrol station.
A few snags, steaks, veges, shellfish, burger patties and more will be thrown on the barbie hot plate this summer.
If you are taking over as grill master this summer, here are our experts' recommendations:
Preparation, shopping, and good hygiene
- If you're out running errands leave the groceries for last and use ice packs, chilly bins or thermal bags to keep items such as milk, raw meat and seafood cold.
- Make sure you rinse all your veges, but not your chicken! Rinsing veges washes off any grit or dirt that still might be on them whereas washing your chicken will splatter bacteria all around your kitchen surfaces.
- Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly every time after handling raw eggs, raw chicken, raw meat and seafood.
Grilling or cooking
- Cook meat thoroughly on the BBQ, especially chicken and minced meat such as sausages.
- Use separate equipment and utensils when handling raw and cooked food or wash thoroughly between use.
- Use a meat thermometer if you can. If not, make sure the raw mince and chicken is cooked all the way through until the juices run clear.
Storing or chilling
- Don’t keep food out longer than 2 hours. If the weather is warm, store and chill immediately after everyone’s eaten.
- Make sure food outside is covered so no pests can get into them.
- Reheat leftovers until steaming hot, and eat them within 2 days.
Contact our food safety experts at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any concerns or questions regarding food safety matters at home.