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BBQs are often the scene of cross-contamination.

When raw meat juices mix with cooked or ready-to-eat food this can lead to food poisoning.

One of the most common food handling mistakes is putting cooked chicken or meat back on the same plate that contained raw juices so be sure you have plenty of clean utensils and platters.

Do NOT pour liquid that has been used to marinade raw meat or poultry on to cooked meats.

Store uncooked food and ready-to-eat foods in separate sealed containers and keep them cold during transport if the BBQ is away from home. Make sure portable coolers are packed with enough ice/coolant to keep foods chilled and the food is well refrigerated beforehand.

Temperature control of food

Always keep raw meats cold and don't leave cooked foods and salads lying out in the sun for more then 2 hours.

If bacteria that can cause food poisoning are present they can multiply quickly in warm to hot temperatures.

  • if meats cooked on the BBQ are to be eaten later, make sure they are kept cold for transport back home – and then put immediately into the refrigerator
  • cook food such as sausages or patties and poultry thoroughly through to the middle
  • a meat thermometer can remove the guess work. Correct temperatures for common BBQ foods:
    • chicken & turkey (whole), thighs, wings, legs and breasts: 74°C
    • minced meat, sausages: 71°C
    • fish: 63°C

Importantly, if you are not feeling well (symptoms may include diarrhoea, vomiting, sore throat with fever, fever or jaundice and infectious skin conditions) avoid handling food or even better, consider postponing your BBQ.

If symptoms persist consult your doctor.


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