Skip to main content

BBQ safety


Warm weather enables the bacteria to multiply faster in conditions where food hygiene practices are poorer, and people change their eating habits in the summer months, eating more cold food, more buffets  where food is left out for long periods, and more barbecues.

When using a barbecue to cook meat, it must be cooked until it’s piping hot all the way through, none of the meat is pink and the juices run clear. When barbecuing for lots of people, it may be advisable to cook meat indoors and finish it off on the barbecue for added flavour.


  • Charcoal should be glowing red, with a powdery grey surface, before starting to cook.
  • Frozen food should be properly thawed before cooking.
  • Turn food regularly, and move it around the barbecue, to cook it evenly.
  • Check that the centre of the food is piping hot.
  • Don't assume that if meat is charred on the outside that it will be cooked properly on the inside.
  • Cross contamination of cooked food with bacteria present on uncooked food may also occur. It may be prevented as follows:
  • Always wash hands thoroughly after handling raw meat.
  • Use separate utensils for raw and cooked meat.
  • Never put cooked food on a plate or surface that has been used for raw meat.
  • Keep raw meat in a sealed container away from ready-to-eat foods, such as burger buns and salads.
  • Don't put raw meat products next to cooked or partially cooked meat on the barbecue.
  • Don't add sauce or marinade to cooked food if it has already been used with raw meat
  • Accompanying cold foods such as salads, dips, desserts, sandwiches, cooked meats and cooked rice should not be left out in the sun or out of the fridge for more than a couple of hours.

Barbecue safety

  • Always keep a bucket of water/sand or a garden hose close by in case of fire
  • Barbeque away from garden fences, shed, buildings, trees and shrubs and in an open area
  • Always barbeque on a flat surface
  • Use only enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbeque to a depth of about 50mm(two inches)
  • Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area.

Further information and resources