Cooking Foods on the Barbeque the Healthy Safe Way
Where to Keep Foods
BBQ in the Summer.
Whether you are a seasoned BBQ chef, or a beginner barbeque cook, why not check through this article to make sure that whilst you're having fun in the outdoors your super, grilled foods are healthy and safe to eat? If you aren't sure you know all about it, then here are some important tips for healthy cooking on the barbeque.
It's important to:
- Carefully wash foods.
- Always have clean hands.
- Use Clean cooking instruments.
- Never using the utensils on cooked foods and then on raw foods
- Be careful with marinades.
- Cover foods to keep out wasps and insects.
- Don't carbonize your meats or fish or vegetables.
This article explains why!
Clean and Cold from the Refrigerator
Bacteria and Food Poisoning
Bacteria in foods are capable of replicating themselves exponentially every twenty minutes, so the first rule of thumb when pulling out those sausages, those mackerel or those courgette to grill on your barbeque is to remember to really wash your hands well - and make sure you have properly cleaned your cooking utensils and dishes including the following:
- chopping block (not wood because it is porous)
- cooking instruments such as the cooking fork and palette
- serving dishes
Facts about Bacteria
Bacteria are single cell organisms.
Bacteria is important for the aging of meat and in producing foods such as cheese and yogurt.
Bacteria sometimes spoils foods and makes it smell.
Some bacteria cause 'salmonella'.
Bacteria reproduces by the one cell dividing into two parts (Binary Fission).
Binary Fission can take 15-20 minutes
A single bacteria can multiply to large numbers in a short time.
NEVER use the cooking instruments or plates that you are using on cooked meats - for raw meats.
To avoid bacteria moving between foods - a process called 'cross contamination' - it's really important to wash or wipe all your cooking things with lots of hot soapy water between uses (or with paper toweling if you are in the wilds) because the bacteria on for example, the cold ham you had a moment ago can move to the steak you'll be grilling, or those baby lamb chops.
Bacteria that can cause food poisoning can also come from any wound, scratch or bite on your hands or person, so it's important to cover your wounds with a band aid!
How to be Be Very Careful of Wasp Sting
- Coping with Allergic Reaction to Wasp Sting; Anaphylaxis
You don't know you have an allergy to a wasp sting unless you have the allergy test. I went into anaphylactic shock when a wasp (Vespula germanica) stung me. Suggestions how to discover if you are allergic to wasps, how to protect against their sting
How to Marinate Foods Safely
There's no doubt about it, marinating meats and fish tenderizes and adds great flavors to foods for grilling on the barbeque. To maintain freshness and to avoid contamination;
- Best to use glass, plastic or ceramic dishes
- Keep the marinating food covered in plastic paper
- Cover to keep out wasps and insects
- Keep it in the refrigerator
NEVER use the same marinade twice.
If you want to use your delicious marinade as a condiment again, before using it the first time, remove the quantity you'll need successively - and reserve separately (in the refrigerator). Don't dip any food into it!.
How to Keep Foods Fresh Outside
Preserving Food Temperatures
Refrigerator Temperature Min Degrees
All salamis and cold cuts
Fish and molluscs
Vegetables and fruuits
Refrigerating Foods for BbQs
Needless to say a clean refrigerator is important too. It's best to clean your refrigerator once a week, not keep it too crowded, and put foods where they are suited. Foods for barbequing are usually meats, fish and vegetables:
- The covered foods are best kept in some sort of plastic or glass container so that they don't drip.
- The place to keep them is on the shelf just above the refrigerator drawers - where the temperature is about 2° C. (It is the coldest part of the refrigerator).
- Vegetables are best kept in the drawers at the base of the refrigerator at about 4-5°C (where there's more humidity).
Best Food To Cook Rare is Beef
How to Gauge the Temperature for BBQ'ing
If you are barbequing with charcoal, or with wood, place your hand above the grill - approximately six inches - and count the number of seconds before it's too hot.
Two to four seconds = HOT
Five to seven seconds = MEDIUM
Eight to ten seconds = LOW
The MEDIUM heat is the right one!
Cooking on the Barbeque
It's best to use natural products in the BbQ such as logs or coal.
NEVER burn painted wood, which has toxic chemicals in it. Here follows a list of dos and donts, for healthy cooking on the barbeque:
- Take the skin off chicken, select leaner cuts of meat of game.
- Cook the foods well through, especially pork fish and chicken. (Undercooked meat doesn't kill bacteria).
- Cook the foods slowly (and uniformly).
- Don't cook frozen foods.
- Don't cook partially thawed foods.
- Don't char the food on the outside to avoid producing cancerous chemicals.
- Use home made marinades because commercial marinades may contain corn syrup (which isn't good for you!)
The best meat (for avoiding salmonella) is beef, which is the only protein that may be cooked 'rare'.
Keep foods Covered
How to Keep Foods Outside
Because there are insects which can carry salmonella, it's best to keep all foods covered outside - and not for too long.
Precaution is a great thing when cooking on the barbeque. Everyone has to presume they may be carrying food poisoning bacteria (50% of the population carry Staphylococcus Aureus - commonly known as 'staph'), so it is easy to get a germ which can cause a lot of harm - even death in many instances.
Using common sense while you're cooking, plus a 'clean ship' guarantees that your fun barbeque (wherever you are!) is totally, healthy safe and delicious - and no one will get sick!
© 2012 Penelope Hart
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