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Up your grill game and avoid a barbeque cooking catastrophe

Safefood’s Well Done BBQ Burger campaign encourages people to cook burgers well done to avoid making family and friends sick

Safefood has launched its Well Done BBQ Burger campaign to help local home cooks up their grill game and avoid their sizzling barbecue dining experience going up in smoke.

The campaign is reminding people to make sure they cook their burgers well done and to follow good food safety habits when preparing and cooking food on the barbeque.

Many of us will take to the garden with family and friends to light-up a barbeque and enjoy some delicious burgers, tasty hot dogs, succulent steaks and grilled vegetables.

Whether you are a self-proclaimed BBQ legend or a first timer, it’s important to know how to cook foods like burgers, sausages and poultry thoroughly to avoid making you, your family or friends sick.

Dr Gary Kearney, Director of Food Safety at safefood, said: “Many of us still lack the confidence when it comes to knowing how to properly cook meat and poultry, with many stating that the hardest part of cooking a barbeque is knowing when the meat is cooked thoroughly.

“Foods like burgers, chicken and sausages must be cooked thoroughly, and absolutely never served rare or pink in the middle as this can cause food poisoning. You know they are cooked when they’re piping hot all the way through, the juices run clear and there’s no pink meat left.

“With our tips & advice, we want people to have confidence in safe BBQ cooking by following good food safety advice and avoiding any food poisoning situations they can keep their families safe. We have lots of practical help and recipes are available on the safefood website”

Safefood’s 7 top tips for a safe Barbeque

1. Keep perishable foods like salads, coleslaw and quiche in your fridge until yo u are about to serve them.

2. Burgers, sausages and kebabs, pork and poultry must be cooked all the way through - but steaks can be served 'rare' as harmful bacteria are on the outside only (and not in the centre).

3. If you like to marinate your meat, make sure any marinade used on raw meat is not then used as a sauce to coat vegetables or cooked meat as it will contain raw meat bacteria.

4. If you choose to barbeque any frozen food, it must be firstly completely thawed on the bottom shelf of your fridge before you cook it.

5. When handling raw meat and poultry, wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, most importantly before going on to prepare salads and other ready to eat foods.

6. Once your meat is cooked thoroughly, make sure to keep cooked meat separate from raw meat and to use separate chopping boards, cooking utensils and plates. Harmful bacteria in raw meat, poultry and their juices can cross contaminate cooked food and lead to food poisoning, something your family won’t thank you for.

7. If there are leftovers from your barbeque, allow the food to cool before refrigerating, however make sure to refrigerate food within two hours of cooking and store for a maximum of three days. Always remember that with leftovers - if in doubt, throw it out.

Looking for some tasty barbeque food ideas? Get your barbeque off to a sizzling start with a selection of safefood’s barbeque food safety tips and recipes