Food safety tips for a perfect BBQ!

It’s BBQ season! Who’s ready to fire up the grill? Now that the warmer temps are finally here, it’s a great time to enjoy all of your barbecue favourites with family and friends. In a restaurant one must follow food safety instructions mentioned below. The food safety tip can be communicated to the cooking staff and everyone who is involved in kitchen operations who handle foods. This awareness can be created with the help of food safety posters. Installing food safety posters in kitchen and cafeteria areas is a part of the visual management projects/ implementation.

Cleanliness:

Make sure to follow cleanliness practice at all times. Ensure washing hands and food preparation surfaces often. Bacteria can travel throughout the kitchen and get onto your hands, cutting boards, utensils used to cook food items, counter tops and food itself.

  • It is essential to wash hands with warm water and soap for minimum 20 seconds before and after handling any food items.
  • One must wash surfaces like chopping boards, kitchen platform that come in contact with food. Ensure using hot, soapy water and rinse it with clear water.
  • To sanitize surfaces use unscented bleach or chlorine products. Follow directions on the label.
  • Change dishcloths on a daily basis or immediately after contact with any kind of raw meat, poultry or fish. Consider using one time use paper towels and trash after using them.
  • Clean can-opener, scissors, knives, blade(s) on a regular basis to remove food particles that can grow bacteria and contaminate food.
  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetable under running water, even those with skin or rind that won’t be eaten.

Separate:

Avoid cross-contamination. Always keep raw meat, poultry and fish away from cooked food items.

  • Raw meat, poultry, fish and eggs must be kept and stored separately from other foods in your grocery bag and in the fridge.
  • Use different chopping boards for raw meat, poultry and fish, and fresh produce and/ or cooked food.
  • Raw meat, poultry and fish must be placed on a plate or on a low shelf in the refrigerator so juices do not drip on ready-to-eat /cooked food items.
  • The plates used for raw meat must be washed immediately after use to avoid putting cooked food on the same ones.
  • Wash canvas and cloth reusable grocery bags in the washing machine with hot, soapy water.

Cook

Foods are safely cooked when they are heated for a long enough time and to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria that cause food-borne illness.

  • Always use a clean food thermometer to check cooking temperatures. Do not rely on how food looks until you check the temperature to be sure it is fully cooked.
  • One must put the thermometer in the thickest part of the food. While checking the food temperature of meat or poultry, ensure that the thermometer does not touch any bones or fats.
  • Cook lamb, steak and roast to 63°C; all cuts of pork to 72°C; lamb to 72°C; egg dishes to 72°C; whole, pieces, ground or stuffed poultry to 74°C; and reheat leftovers to 74°
  • Cook fish until it turns opaque and brown with flakes that can come off easily with a fork.
  • Cook eggs until the egg yolk and egg white is nicely done. Avoid using recipes in which eggs are raw or are only partially cooked.
  • While cooking in a microwave oven, place a lid to cover the food items, stir, and rotate at regular intervals during cooking to avoid cold spots where bacteria can survive.
  • Keep hot foods at 60°C or above.

Chill:

At room temperature, bacteria can grow very rapidly, they almost double up in food every 20 minutes. As bacteria grows, chance of getting sick increases. Therefore, refrigerating food items as soon as possible prevents from harmful bacteria growth.

  • Check the temperature of the refrigerator and freezer with an appliance thermometer. The refrigerator should be at 5 °C or below and the freezer at -18 °C or below. Avoid over-stuffing the refrigerator.
  • Have a habit of refrigerating or freezing meat, poultry, eggs and other perishable food items as soon as you reach home from the store.
  • Food items are never safe to consume when they have been in the temperature danger zone of 5 °C to 60 °C for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour when the temperature is 33 °
  • Avoid de-frosting food at room temperature. The refrigerator is the safest place to defrost food. Make sure meat juices do not get mixed with other foods. For instant defrosting, put food in a strainer under cold, running water.
  • It is safe to defrost food in the microwave but must be cooked immediately after the process.
  • Refrigerate food while they are marinated. Do not re-use marinade to baste food while cooking.
  • Refrigerate leftover food immediately. Put large amounts of leftover food into shallow containers to expedite cooling in the refrigerator.
  • Always store cold foods at 4 ° C or below.

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