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

 

Music: Lorde NZ Tour Confirmed In Four Major Cities!

In what will be her first ever New Zealand headline tour, Frontier Touring and Brent Eccles Entertainment are stoked to bring you four epic shows across the country! The all ages concerts take place late October/ early November in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Poor Economics

A review of and excerpt from Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple’s Child Poverty in New Zealand. More>>

Head Count: Highest Population Growth Since 2003

The country’s population grew by 67,800 people, or 1.5 percent, in the year to 30 June 2014. This came from natural increase (births minus deaths) of 29,500 and net migration (arrivals minus departures) of 38,300. New Zealand's estimated resident population was 4.51 million at 30 June 2014. More>>

Fun-Enhancement: Research To Ensure Even Game For Less Skilled Players

A University of Canterbury engineering PhD student is researching sports, such as table tennis, to ensure closer games for both better and less skilled players. More>>

Werewolf: From The Lost Continent

It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Blue Eyed & Soulful

Last year’s Muscle Shoals documentary was a reminder that on some of soul music’s most hallowed tracks, the studio band consisted of a bunch of white guys from rural Alabama... More>>

ALSO:

Final Event - Number Crunching: NZ Fifth Best Performer At Commonwealth Games

With a haul of 45 medals, New Zealand has outperformed the best predictions of the world’s number crunchers by 440% and beaten our past performance at the Commonwealth Games by 11% per cent, according to a Massey University finance lecturer. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news