Barbecue Safety

barbecue2One of the main activities of the summer is barbecuing and there’s nothing better than sitting out in the sun with a cold drink and some delicious hot food!

Barbecue food usually consists mainly of meat and often in large quantities. It is also often prepared by people who do not regularly cook such food and so are not always aware of the amount of time needed to ensure the meat is cooked safely.

Following this advice should ensure that the food served is safe to eat.


  • Defrost all meats thoroughly
  • Keep meat in the fridge until needed
  • Keep cooked and uncooked meat completely separate
  • Cut the meat into small portions before cooking
  • Pre-cook chicken to ensure the middle gets cooked properly
  • Use separate utensils for cooked and raw food
  • Make sure that the meat is cooked through by testing a piece or by using a meat thermometer (see Amazon advert below)
  • Keep the heat low to prevent burning the outside before the inside is cooked
  • Serve meat immediately after cooking


  • Keep ingredients covered and refrigerated until needed
  • Minimise the use of “high risk” ingredients such as home-made mayonnaise, ham, shell-fish and eggs


  • Have a bowl of warm, soapy water handy for washing hands between cooking
  • Keep all utensils on a clean tray or table away from the food
  • Make sure the cook wears an apron and uses clean towels

Your own personal safety is another important consideration when barbecuing. You should take the following sensible precautions:

  • Set the barbecue up on a level surface away from plants, fences or flammable materials
  • Never pour petrol or lighter fuel on to the barbecue
  • Use kindling and fire lighters if necessary
  • Keep a bucket of water handy incase of fires
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing which may catch in the flames
  • Make sure the fire is out when you have finished the barbecue
  • Use a plant sprayer to douse flames from dripping fat
  • Use long handled tools and thick oven gloves