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.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news