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Avoid bugs on the barbie this summer


Avoid bugs on the barbie this summer

Temperatures are rising, we’re eating outdoors with friends and family and the BBQ has taken pride of place on the deck.

Summer is a great time of year but the risk of suffering a food-borne illness increases considerably.

“Up to 40 percent of cases are estimated to be caused by unsafe food handling in the home,” says Toi Te Ora – Public Health Regional Manager Graeme Savage. “With barbeques, the greatest risk to food safety comes from raw or uncooked meat and from cross-contamination – storing or preparing cooked meat next to raw meat.”

Bay of Plenty and Lakes residents are reminded to wash their hands, utensils and the BBQ before preparing food, keep raw meat away from cooked meat and other food and store raw meat on the bottom shelf of the fridge.

When visiting family or friends’ houses for alfresco dining, Graeme Savage reminds people to use ice packs to keep food below 4°C, pack food in the chilly bin in the opposite order to how you will be getting them out, and if possible, carry the chilly bin inside the air conditioned car rather than the hot car boot.

“When you get to the BBQ keep your chilly bin in the shade, only open the lid when you really need to and cover food to protect it from flies and other pests,” he says. “With leftovers throw them out unless you can keep them chilled and any leftover food left outside more than an hour should be thrown away as flies and heat can make it unsafe to eat, very quickly.”

No one wants their holiday ruined with a dose of food poisoning so taking a few simple precautions to reduce the risk is always worth the effort. If you think you have had a dose of food poisoning call a health protection officer at Toi Te Ora – Public Health on 0800 221 555.

Remember Clean Cook Cover Chill and stay foodsafe.


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