Safer party food
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare food - preparing food in advance gives you time to get it right, without pressure:
Safer party food
- Keep food chilled
- Keep food in the fridge until it’s needed. And if you’re short on fridge space, move wine and beer into buckets of ice, or somewhere cool like a cellar.
- Don’t cook too quickly
- Even if people are waiting to eat, don’t reduce cooking times. Better safe than fast.
- Check food before serving
- Food should be piping hot all the way through to kill bacteria. A food probe can help you make sure food is at a safe temperature, a core temperature of 75°C.
When you're barbecuing, the biggest risk of food poisoning is from raw and undercooked meat. But following a few simple tips can keep your barbecued food safe and tasty.
- Frozen food should be completely thawed before you start to cook it.
- Keep raw meat in sealed containers, separate from other foods. That way it won’t contaminate them with bacteria. And use separate plates and utensils for raw meat.
- Don’t use a sauce or marinade for cooked food that’s had raw meat in it.
- When the charcoal is glowing red with a powdery grey surface, it’s ready for you to start cooking.
- Keep food moving on the barbecue, so it cooks evenly.
- Check the centre of the food – steam should be coming out of it. Meat isn’t necessarily cooked inside just because it looks charred on the outside, core temperature should be 75°
- Make sure chicken, pork, burgers, sausages and kebabs are hot all the way through. There should be no pink meat, and juices should run clear. A good way of achieving this is to cook meat indoors (in a pan, grill or oven), then finish it off on the barbecue for that chargrilled flavour.
Apart from the weather, the one thing that can ruin your picnic is food poisoning.
- Keep food in the fridge until you need it.
If you take food out of the fridge right before you leave, it’ll stay cool longer when you put it into a cool bag or cool box. This is especially important for any foods containing cream, and meat and poultry.
- Wash fruit and vegetables.
If you do this before setting off, your fruit and vegetables will be clean and ready to eat when you start your picnic.
Wasps aren’t the only ones after your food. Other insects, along with birds and pets, want in on your picnic. They can carry bacteria, so keep your food covered when you can.