Keep your Australia Day BBQ safe – use a meat thermometer (25 January 2018)

A BBQ on Australia Day is a great tradition but with cases of Salmonella and Campylobacter food poisoning continuing to be high the Food Safety Information Council is recommending using a meat thermometer.

Council Chair, Rachelle Williams, said there were over 25,000 cases of Campylobacter food poisoning infections and nearly 16,500 Salmonella infections reported to health authorities in Australia during 2017.

‘These infections are often linked to undercooking high-risk foods like sausages, hamburgers and poultry all of which should be cooked to 75°C. The only way you know these foods are cooked correctly is to use a meat thermometer.

‘So before you fire up your Australia Day barbie make sure you have a meat thermometer handy, you can pick them up from wherever they sell BBQs or any homeware shop. Then follow these 6 BBQ food safety tips:

  1. Use a meat thermometer to check high risk foods like sausages, hamburgers and poultry are safely cooked to 75°C in the thickest part
  2. You can cook the centre of whole pieces of beef, lamb and other red meats to your taste as long as the surface is well browned.
  3. Whole pieces of pork taste best if cooked between 70°C and 75°C then left to rest for 3 to 5 minutes
  4. You can cook fish to around 69°C or when flesh flakes easily.
  5. Don’t put cooked meat back on the same plate that the raw meat was on as it will get re-contaminated by bacteria
  6. Keep raw meat away from other foods that won’t be cooked like salads and desserts.

‘Finally make sure you wash your hands with soap and dry thoroughly before handling food and after handling raw meat. If you want to keep any BBQ leftovers make sure they are refrigerated within 2 hours,’ Ms Williams concluded.

See more BBQ food safety tips at http://foodsafety.asn.au/picnics-and-bbqs/

The Food Safety Information Council is a health promotion charity and Australia’s leading disseminator of consumer-targeted food safety information. The Council aims to address the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year that result in 31,920 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to doctors on average each year.

Media contact:

Lydia Buchtmann, Food Safety Information Council, 0407 626 688 or info@foodsafety.asn.au

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