We hope you have been enjoying the last of the summer. Sunny weekends are the perfect time for enjoying the outdoors in your garden and we hope you can continue to make the most of it throughout September.
The smell of summer, apart from mown grass, is inevitably barbecue but outdoor eating comes with its own safety rules. How can you make sure all your barbecues are as safe and fun as possible? Well, read on…
Steering Away From Sickness
First up is food poisoning. Many cases of food poisoning can be pretty mild – an upset stomach and a bit of discomfort the next day, but certain groups are more vulnerable to the effects of food poisoning, such as older people, children, pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions.
One option is to cook food indoors on your oven or hob, and then place it on the barbecue to finish it off and give it that smoky flavour. Keep raw and cooked meat well apart and ensure any frozen meat is thoroughly defrosted before cooking.
Steaks and lamb cuts can be served rare, but other foods – chicken, burgers and sausages – must be cooked all the way through (no pink meat remaining and the juices run clear) before eating.
Do not put sauces or marinades on cooked meat, if they have already been used on raw meat.
General Safety And Fire Risk
You should make sure your barbecue is in good working order. Place it on a flat site in your garden, away from sheds, trees and shrubs. Keep children and pets away from the cooking area and never leave your barbecue unattended. Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies and do not move the barbecue until it has thoroughly cooled down.
A depth of about 2ins/50mm of charcoal is enough and never use petrol on your barbecue. Once you’re barbecue party is finished and all your guests gone home never be tempted to put hot ashes straight into your bin or wheelie bin. That’s because they’ll melt it.
For gas barbecues, make sure the tap is turned off before changing the cylinder and preferably change this outdoors in a well-ventilated area.
In hot weather, it is important to keep food items other than meat and fish cool as well to prevent health risks. Store the following foods inside in the fridge or in a cool bag:
• Salads, dips and dressings
• Anything that contains milk, cream or yoghurt
• Any puddings or cream cakes
• Ham and other cooked meats
• Cooked rice salads
And finally, the traditional accompaniment to a barbecue is a beer or a nice glass of wine – and probably plenty of them! We’re not judging, but it is worth remembering that a few drinks tend to have effects on co-ordination and make us clumsier. He or she who is in charge of the barbecue and the cooking ought to bear that in mind…
Chadwicks stocks all the power & garden tools, power washers, fencing and decking you need for a great garden, and we run frequent special offers. Keep checking in to find out more.