Tips for a fun and safe barbeque

There’s just something about a good barbeque, isn’t there?  Sitting the backyard with a nice cold drink in hand, relaxing with family and friends, smelling the wonderful food grilling over the coals… it’s enough to make anyone smile.  But there is nothing worse than leaving a barbeque with a sour stomach from eating food that may have been sitting out just a bit too long.  Prevent that feeling by following some easy food handling tips at your next barbeque.

Food safety begins at the supermarket or butcher shop.  Always buy meats that have been properly refrigerated.  Avoid cross contamination of your other foods by putting drippy meats in plastic bags before putting them in your cart.  Bring them home and immediately put them in the refrigerator or freezer.

Thaw foods in the refrigerator to avoid bacterial growth.  You should also marinate foods in the fridge.  Discard any used marinades.  Do not be tempted to use them to baste the food when it is on the grill.  You will risk getting the bacteria from the raw food onto the cooked food.  

Keep cold food cold and hot food hot.  Seems pretty easy, but sometimes it is easier said than done.  Do not leave any foods out at room temp longer than 2 hours.  If it is hotter than 90 degrees out, one hour is long enough.  This goes for condiments like ketchup and relish, too.  Use coolers or ice baths for cold food.  Instead of making a huge tray of burgers, find out who wants one and just make enough for your guests.  You can always fire the grill back up if anyone wants another.

Grab yourselves some fun outdoor games like horseshoes or badminton and you’ve got yourself a heck of a fun barbeque!  Enjoy yourselves out there and stay safe.

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