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Barbecue
chefs 'risk poisoning' their guests

A new survey has highlighted the risky hygiene mistakes that people make at the barbecue.

Some 94pc of those surveyed say they have at least one habit at the barbecue that risks the health of their guests, while one in five (21pc) believe they have been ill due to something they have eaten as a result, a poll for the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) found.

The survey found that 24pc of those who describe themselves as the main cook at a barbecue do not usually cook at home.

And 19pc of barbecue cooks do not keep raw and cooked food on separate plates, 21pc do not wash their hands with soap after handling raw meat and almost half (47pc) do not keep food chilled until just before use.

Tongs

Just over half of those who answered (51pc) risk cross-contaminating food by using the same tongs for raw and cooked meats.

The risks of cross-contamination can lead to illnesses such as campylobacter, which causes food poisoning in an estimated 280,000 people each year.

Almost a third (28pc) admit to not checking that burgers and sausages are cooked all the way through and 32pc do not check that chicken is thoroughly cooked.

A list of tips to help cooks cut the risk of food poisoning, suggests pre-cooking the meat or poultry in the oven and finishing it off on the barbecue for flavour.

It also warned that "charred doesn't mean cooked".

hnews@herald.ie


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