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Have a sizzling and safe barbecue this bank holiday weekend

Published on Friday, 26th August 2016

If you’re aiming to round off the summer holidays with a bank holiday  barbecue this weekend, NBBC and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have some good advice to help make it a safe success.

With gourmet burgers in restaurants becoming increasingly popular, some might be tempted to serve burgers that are pink in the middle - but beware, a burger is not like steak. Steak can be served rare because any contamination on the surface of the meat is destroyed when the steak is seared on the outside. Burgers are made of minced meat, so any bacteria, on the outside of the whole piece of meat, is mixed up during the mincing process and will be present within the whole burger mixture. If bacteria is mixed into the middle of the burger and it isn’t cooked all the way through, the bacteria can survive and cause food poisoning. That’s why a burger should be thoroughly cooked all the way through.

So, this barbecue weekend (27-29 August), rain or shine, the FSA is reminding everybody to:

•           cook burgers so they are steaming hot all the way through, no matter how good quality or expensive the meat

•           check that none of the meat is pink and that any juices run clear, and

•           avoid cross contamination by storing raw meat separately before cooking, using different utensils, plates and chopping boards for raw and cooked food.

Cllr Barry Longden, portfolio holder for Health and Environment said:

‘This is important advice that can keep your loved ones safe. Children, elderly and poorly people in your family could get food poisoning, or even worse – a life threatening illness through serving a less than well-cooked burger at your barbecue this weekend. For more advice on food safety, follow our food safety team’s twitter feed @nbbcfoodsafety1.'

If you want your barbecue to be remembered for the right reasons, follow the FSA’s advice on cooking burgers at your barbecue. Find out more about the FSA’s top tips at: food.gov.uk/burgers.