MEDIA RELEASE 2 NOVEMBER 2006
Taking the barb out of the barbeque this summer
FOODSAFE WEEK 13-19 NOVEMBER
What better way to enjoy summer than to eat outdoors? Before you slap those sausages on the barbeque and whip up a salad
– take a minute to ensure you, your friends and family will be safe from the misery of food poisoning.
Every year many New Zealanders get food borne illnesses. It is estimated that there have been more than eight thousand
cases of foodborne illness in the Bay of Plenty so far this year. About 40% are caused by unsafe food handling practices
in the home.
“Whether you go on a picnic, barbeque or camping trip – you’ll be taking your food out of the fridge or freezer. As soon
as the temperature of the food begins to rise, bacteria in the food can multiply and this is obviously dangerous,” says
Health Protection Officer Helen van der Werf. “Unless food is handled properly, it can cause problems so keep hot food
HOT and cold food COLD – or don’t keep it at all.”
Cleaned the barbeque since last summer? A dirty barbeque is a haven for pests and rodents who love to spread bacteria so
make sure it has been cleaned before you use it. Your hands and any utensils also need to be cleaned thoroughly (wash
for 20 seconds, dry for 20 seconds) before and after preparing food.
“Cross contamination from raw to cooked foods is one of the biggest risks,” says Helen van der Werf. “Be careful with
knives, cutting boards, hands – anything used for raw and cooked foods and clean them thoroughly when moving from raw to
cooked foods.” Preferably use different chopping boards for meat and other food.
The golden rule for BBQs is that perishable foods should always be refrigerated until needed, which means removing food
from the fridge or chilly bin only when you are ready to cook it on the barbeque. Also remember to ensure food is not
packed into a chilly bin while it’s still warm - food cannot cool quickly enough in a chilly bin to prevent bacteria
“When cooking, always make sure chicken, pork, sausages and minced products like hamburger patties are cooked until the
juices run clear – there should be no hint of pink. It can be better to pre-cook these foods,” she says. “When taking
foods off the barbeque, use a clean plate, not the plate which held the raw meat.”
It’s simple – Clean, Cook, Cover, Chill.
Toi Te Ora - Public Health
Health Protection Officer