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Don't Let Your BBQ End in Tears This Summer

July 29, 2009 4:55 PM

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On the same day that Health Protection Scotland issued figures revealing an increase in the “barbeque bug” or campylobacter bacteria, an NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Public Health Consultant has issued the following cooking tips.

Michelle Gillies, an NHSGGC Specialist Registrar in Public Health is encouraging people to follow a few simple tips to ensure their outdoor eating doesn’t result in anyone getting food poisoning and everyone enjoying ‘al fresco’ dining has a good time.

Dr Gillies says barbecues and picnics should be fun for everyone but often, by not following a few simple safety precautions, people end up getting ill with food poisoning after the event.

She added: “Barbecues and picnics are great in the summer but what we want to reiterate is that a few safety precautions will ensure everyone stays healthy and happy.

“Barbecues, in particular, can result in people undercooking food, raw meat and ready to eat foodstuffs not being kept separate, food not being thoroughly defrosted and cooking utensils being used for raw and cooked foods.

“If people follow our tips they can enjoy their barbecues and picnics without worrying about sickness and diarrhoea a few days later.”

Guidelines for a safe Barbie!
1. Defrost frozen meats thoroughly in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking
2. Always wash hands thoroughly before preparing food, touching raw meat and before eating
3. Wait until charcoal is glowing red, with powdery grey surface, before you start to cook
4. If cooking for a large number of people, consider pre-cooking poultry and other meats in an oven beforehand before finishing off on the barbecue
5. Do not use the same utensils for raw and cooked foods
6. Always keep raw meat and ready-to-eat food separate
7. Do not place cooked foods on plates that have held raw meats
8. Cook poultry, burgers, sausages and other meats until there are no pink bits in the middle and the juices run clear
9. Do not assume the meat is cooked all the way through just because the outside surface looks well charred
10. Keep food covered to prevent insects and pets
getting to it

Guidelines for a safe Picnic!
1. Leave food in the fridge till the last moment
2. Wash all fruit and veg thoroughly
3. Use a cool bag with ice packs to keep food cool during the journey
4. Keep the cool bag in the coolest part of the car away from direct sunlight
5. On arrival at destination keep the lid of the cool box on and away from direct sunlight
6. Wash hands or use antiseptic wipes before eating
7. In visits to farms or zoo parks, do not eat food in areas allocated to animal contact or petting animals
8. Always wash hands or use antiseptic wipes immediately after contact with animals


A video clip giving advice on how to enjoy a safe BBQ or picnic is available at

0141 201 4429.For further information contact

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Last Updated: 06 February 2015