More than half the UK population will fire up the barbecue over the bank holiday weekend, some with less than positive results, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
Heralding what they believe could be the “last barbecue of the season”, FSA have issued a warning to consumers to ensure food safety standards don’t slip when cooking outside.
“It’s revealed that more than nine in 10 people have at least one habit at the barbecue which risks their health and that of their guests,” said FSA.
A recent survey found that a quarter (24%) of those who describe themselves as the main cook at a barbecue do not usually cook at home. The survey also revealed that many people are overlooking basic food safety measures that could help protect them from the risks of cross-contamination, including contracting campylobacter, which causes food poisoning in an estimated 280,000 people per year.
Nearly one in five people (19%) do not keep raw and cooked food on separate plates when cooking at a barbecue, 21% do not wash their hands with soap after handling raw meat, nearly half (47%) don’t keep food chilled until just before use and just over half (51%) risk cross-contaminating food by using the same tongs for raw and cooked meats. In fact, 94% of people break at least one cardinal rule of food safety.
FSA chief executive, Catherine Brown, commented: “Food poisoning is a real risk at barbecues and so we are reminding people to take good care of their families and friends by paying attention to simple food safety rules.”