Healthy Summers: Barbeque Food Safety
A fun way to eat healthy grilled meat, the fine art of barbecuing is an excellent summer activity. However, summers are also the time for pathogen and foodborne illnesses to double up. Therefore, one needs to take special care when preparing, cooking and storing food for a barbeque. And today, we are going to discuss just that.
Simple Guidelines for Cooking Barbeque Food Safely
- Make sure you wash your hands well before you handle raw meat, poultry or vegetables. Also, make sure that the griller, serving spoon and all other grilling equipment, including the cooking surface, is clean and stain-free.
- Pre-cook meat patties, sausages and chicken before barequeing them. Do make sure you are marinating these items and storing them in a covered container in the fridge. Separate raw foods and cooked foods and store them in separate containers.
- Make sure you are putting the cooked item on a separate plate and not on the raw food plate.
- Poultry products should be very high in tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. Poultry products should be virtually free from defects such as bruises, discolorations, and feathers. There should be no broken bones either. For whole birds and parts with the skin on, there should be no tears in the skin or exposed flesh that could dry out during cooking, and a good covering of fat under the skin.
- Buy fresh processed meat. Processed meat can be evaluated by its appearance according to the different raw materials of which the product is composed and where the use of some components is exaggerated (for instance too many particles of visible fat or connective tissue, etc.).
- When cooking on the barbeque, make sure that the frozen meat is properly thawed before you start cooking. The coals should be glowing red in colour.
- To check if your meat is properly cooked, it should not be pink in colour and it should ideally have a piping hot centre.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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