News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Think before you barbeque this summer, UC food expert warns

Think before you barbeque this summer, UC food expert warns

During summer nightly barbeques are in hot demand.

But before people get down to some serious barbequing, University of Canterbury food safety expert Professor Ian Shaw says they should think about avoiding exposure to risky food.

``A little bit of forethought will reduce the risk of a jippy tummy, or worse, this summer. Meat is often contaminated with bacteria originating from animal intestines. These bacteria are killed by cooking, but if meat is not cooked properly the bacteria might survive and might then cause gastric upset.

``There are two bacteria particularly relevant to our penchant for barbequing, namely campylobacter and E. coli 0157. Campylobacter occurs particularly on chicken. It is very easily killed by cooking and by freezing because it is a fickle organism that can’t stand extremes of temperature or drying. So, cooking your chicken on the barbeque will certainly kill this nasty little creature.

``However, cross contamination from infected chicken to other food is very easy to achieve. If you handle raw chicken and then handle food that you will eat raw – such as salad - you might transfer campylobacter to the raw food and infect the unfortunate consumer of the food. So wash your hands well with warm soapy water when you have handled raw chicken.

``Also, if you pick up a piece of raw chicken with barbeque tongs then cook the chicken on the barby, the heat of the barbeque will kill the campylobacter on the chicken, but it might still be lurking on the tongs.

``So when you serve the chicken with the same tongs you might re-infect the chicken with campylobacter. I always balance my barbeque tongs above the heat of the barbeque to make sure I’ve killed the campylobacter.’’

Professor Shaw says E. coli is a bacterium naturally present in human and animal intestines, but a virulent strain (0157) makes a potent toxin that causes gastroenteritis. E. coli 0157 could be present on any meat, but red meat is the most risky. It is present only on the outside of the meat because it gets there by contamination during the slaughter process.

``E. coli is killed by cooking. However, if you mince meat - such as beef for patties - what was once the outside of the meat might become the inside of the patty and if the temperature during cooking is not great enough (70°Cdeg) the E. coli will survive to infect its consumer.

``So, make sure you cook your patties and any other meat product made from mince well. This means that the inside should not be pink – pink means that the temperature did not reach 70°Cdeg,’’ Professor Shaw says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Anniversaries: Vivid Memories Four Years After Christchurch Quake

Four years ago, an earthquake that would change the lives of thousands shook Christchurch at 12.51 p.m. More>>

ALSO:

Environment 'n' Conservation: Slash Meets Tāne The Tuatara

Rock and Roll superstar and former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash visited Zealandia Ecosanctuary along with collaborating band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. More>>

Foo Fighters: Exclusive Show In Support Of Music Foundation

Frontier Touring has today announced that the Foo Fighters will play a last minute intimate and exclusive benefit show at the Auckland Town Hall this Friday February 20 with all profits going to The New Zealand Music Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Canterbury Quakes: Feedback Sought On Short-Listed Memorial Designs

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been released for public input... The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations. More>>

ALSO:

Celia Lashlie: Legacy Will Live On

Social justice advocate Celia Lashlie leaves a legacy that will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of New Zealanders for years to come, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Celia was a powerful voice for reason, sense and compassion. Her work, particularly with teenage boys, was ground-breaking." More>>

ALSO:

Obituary: Sad Farewell To PPTA Activist Robin Duff

Duff has been a long-time fixture of the association... Most recently Duff has been working hard to support Canterbury teachers through the quakes that devastated the region. More>>

ALSO:

Poroporoaki: Dr Apirana Tuahae Kaukapakapa Mahuika

Papa Api was a man of many great gifts and occupied a long list of roles including priest, teacher, scholar, politician, and leader. Chair of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, and a rangatira of his iwi... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news