7 golden rules for a safe barbeque

Friday 03 May, 2013. We all look forward to the first signs of Summer; the stretch in the evenings, warmer weather and the mouth-watering aroma of a BBQ being grilled. If you are planning to cook outdoors, don’t let your good habits in the kitchen go up in smoke when you light the barbeque – an evening alfresco should bring memories of friends, family and food, not tummy bugs! Here are 7 golden rules from safefood for how to get it right every time.

  1. Keep perishable foods like salads, coleslaw and quiche in your fridge until you are about to serve them.
  2. BBQ foods like burgers, sausages and kebabs, pork and poultry must be cooked and piping hot all the way through. You know they are cooked when there is no pink meat and the juices run clear. Steaks or whole meat joints of beef or lamb can be served 'rare' as harmful bacteria are on the outside only (and not in the centre).
  3. If you like to marinate your meat, make sure any marinade used on raw meat is not then used as a sauce to coat vegetables or cooked meat as it will contain raw meat bacteria.
  4. If you choose to barbeque any frozen food, it must be completely thawed on the bottom shelf of your fridge before you cook it.
  5. When handling raw meat and poultry, wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, most importantly before going on to prepare salads and other ready to eat foods.
  6. Once your meat is cooked thoroughly, make sure to keep cooked meat separate from raw meat and to use separate chopping boards, cooking utensils and plates. Harmful bacteria in raw meat, poultry and their juices can contaminate cooked food and lead to food poisoning, something your guests won’t thank you for.
  7. If there are leftovers from your barbeque, allow the food to cool before refrigerating, however make sure to refrigerate food within two hours of cooking. Always remember with leftovers - if in doubt, throw it out.

For more information on food safety and healthy eating including recipes, visit www.safefood.eu and enjoy your barbeque, whatever the weather!

BBQ Recipes

Summer Beefburgers (Serves 4 to 6)

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 600g (1lb, 5oz) lean minced beef
  • 1 tablespoon sage, chopped
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 whole garlic clove, peeled
  • Black pepper
  • For the garnish
  • 4 to 6 hamburger buns, halved
  • 1 large beef tomato, sliced into 4 thick slices
  • Lettuce, mild onion and red peppers
  • Low-fat mayonnaise or tomato sauce

Method

  1. Cook the onion and garlic in a frying pan with some oil until soft (approximately 2 minutes on a medium heat).
  2. Put the mixture in a large bowl and leave it for a short while to cool.
  3. Add the mince, sage and egg. Mix well and season with pepper.
  4. Shape the mixture into thick burgers (put some flour on your hands to prevent the meat from sticking to them). Put the burgers in on a covered plate or in a sealable container.
  5. Keep the burgers in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
  6. Cook the burgers on the barbeque. Turn them regularly and make sure they are cooked all the way through. This may take at least 25 minutes. If you prefer, cook the burgers in a hot frying pan for 10 to 12 minutes on each side.
  7. While the burgers are cooking, toast the burger buns on the barbeque or in a toaster.
  8. Rub the clove of garlic over the ‘inside’ of the bun to give it a garlic flavour. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Place a slice of tomato on the garlic side of the bun and season with pepper.
  9. Before serving, make sure that the burgers are cooked thoroughly, by cutting into them with a clean knife and checking that they are piping hot all the way through, there is no pink meat remaining and the juices run clear.
  10. When cooked, serve the burgers immediately in the prepared buns and garnish with lettuce, mild onion and red peppers, and a small dollop of low-fat mayonnaise or tomato sauce.

Citrus summer chicken (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • Salad to serve
  • (try it with low-fat and low-salt sauces)
  • For the marinade
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Zest and juice of ½ lime
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Put the zest and juice of the orange and the lime (or a drop of lemon juice if you haven’t got a lime) into a bowl. Peel the ginger, grate it finely and add it to the bowl with the garlic.
  2. Whisk in the olive oil and then stir in the black pepper. Using a large knife, cut each chicken breast in half. Add these to the marinade and make sure that each portion is well coated.
  3. Cover the bowl with cling film and put it on the bottom shelf of the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  4. Cook the chicken on a hot barbeque for 25 to 30 minutes, turning it often.
  5. You can also use chicken thighs or drumsticks for this recipe. Adjust the cooking times depending on the meat.
  6. Before serving, check that the chicken is properly cooked by removing it from the heat and cutting into the thickest part of it with a clean knife to make sure that it is piping hot all the way through, there is no pink meat remaining, and the juices run clear