On 26 January, chances are many Australians will be enjoying a great Aussie BBQ. While we might fancy ourselves as terrific backyard chefs, we sometimes forget even the most basic food safety principles and practices.
To help reduce food safety risks at your next barbie we've put together some simple guidelines.
- Plan your shopping to keep your perishable food cool until you get home.
- Check the use-by dates on perishable food.
- Buy chilled and frozen food last. Pack them together in an insulated bag or cool box.
- Refrigerate promptly as soon as you reach home.
- Do not leave your food shopping in a hot car.
Keep it Cold
- Make sure all cooked foods are completely cooled before you pack them in the cooler.
- Use plenty of ice or cold packs around the food. Frozen drinks can serve as icepacks, especially in packed school lunches.
- In the car, keep the cool box in the coolest part of the vehicle if possible, in the air-conditioned passenger compartment rather than in the boot.
- Keep all perishable food cold until serving.
Keep it Clean
- Frequently wash your hands, cutting board, counter, utensils and make sure you are using clean wash cloths and towels to dry your hands. This is especially important when preparing meats.
- Use a clean plate for all cooked meats don't re-use the same plate or container that held raw meats. Don't use the same equipment used to cook raw food (such as tongs or forks) to handle cooked food.
Keep it Separate
- Store any raw meat in an insulated cooler kept cold with ice or ice packs, away from other food.
- Cut and prepare all meats and salads beforehand to reduce the need to handle foods when you are outdoors.
- Place containers with raw meat or other high-risk foods into separate leak-proof containers and then into a cooler kept cold with ice or ice packs.
Keep it Safe
- Throw out any high-risk food left in the temperature danger zone for more than four hours. Don't put it in the fridge and don't leave it for later.
- Only prepare enough food for what you need to avoid having leftovers.
If you follow these guidelines and use some common sense, not only will your Aussie Day backyard barbie be a success, it will be safe too!