Whilst we all may seem sickly in the winter, food borne illnesses are at their most common during the summer months. Picnics, BBQs and eating al fresco, all of these things lend themselves to some rather questionable food and hygiene habits.
So, how do you make sure that you are safe with food during the summer? We have put together our guide to summer eating, and how to make sure that you and your family are well protected.
Be safe on the Barbeque
We all love a good BBQ, but they don’t always love us. There are a variety of mistakes that you could make during a BBQ and all of them can make you ill.
You should always remember to keep your raw meat and your cooked meat and veggies separate. Each type of food should have its own chopping board, serving dish and tongs, otherwise you could end up cross contaminating the food.
It is also important that all meat is thoroughly cooked before you serve it. Whilst burgers are made of red meat, they should be cooked properly throughout as this can be dangerous for those eating it. You should also make sure that you have properly thawed any food that cannot be cooked from frozen, otherwise it may not be cooked properly.
Not just for BBQ’s, defrosting food should always be placed in the fridge rather than out on the counter, as this means it is at room temperature once defrosted which can be dangerous.
Proper picnic food safety
Another great thing about summer is that you can get out and enjoy a lovely picnic. However, this can also pose a risk to your health. There is a good chance that you will be sat around for a while, but your food shouldn’t be. This is particularly true if you have food that contains mayonnaise. You should aim to never leave food out for longer than 2 hours.
Other top tips is to use paper cups and paper plates for hygiene reasons.
Make sure meats are kept cool in a fridge or cool bag until cooking for safety purposes. Also, it is worth checking that your appliances are in order prior to hosting a BBQ.
Whilst BBQs and picnics are the main times when summer food safety will apply, you can also think about it throughout the summer too.
Food shopping can be tricky, so always make sure that you buy meat and perishable items last, and get them straight in the fridge when you get home. If you find that you have overcooked on a dinner and want to store the leftovers, then these should always be properly cooled down before you pop them into the fridge as this can be dangerous.
Any packed lunches need to have a proper cool pack in there, as food can heat up quickly within these containers and it can spoil.
Summer isn’t just a time for getting out in the sunshine, but it is also a time for some amazing food. Make sure that whatever you eat is safe, and you will be sure to have a long, hot and fabulous summer.