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BBQ Food Safety Tips

June 11, 2024

Food Safety Tips when Barbequing

Barbequing provides a unique flavour to our food. As this type of cooking takes place outside of our kitchens, additional safety precautions need to be taken when handling, preparing and serving some of our favourite foods to ensure we prevent foodborne illness. There are 4 steps to food safety which apply: Separate, Clean, Cook, Chill.


  • Keep raw and ready to eat ingredients separate to prevent cross-contamination. 
  • Store raw meat cuts on a tray on the bottom of the refrigerator or in a separate cooler with ice packs.
  • Use a separate plate and utensils for raw meat and prepared meat.
  • Dispose of any marinades that raw meat has been in.


  • Clean surfaces and utensils before preparing food and in between handling raw and ready to eat foods.
  • Remember to wash your hands prior to handling food especially between handling raw and ready to eat foods (gloves are not a substitute for proper handwashing). 
  • Fruits and vegetables that will be part of your meal should be washed under running water to remove dirt and other residues.


  • Cook meat thoroughly from start to finish (partially cooked meat for reheating later is an unsafe practice).
  • Cooking kills bacteria found in raw meat. Use a probe thermometer to check the doneness of the meat. Different types of meat need to reach different temperatures to ensure they are safe: ground chicken and chicken pieces and meat mixtures need to reach 74°C (165°F), whole poultry 82°C (180°F) ground meats and pork 71°C (160°F) and fish and seafood 70°C (158°F). 
  • Steaks, can be cooked to your preferred doneness provided they have not been mechanically tenderized and the outside surface has been cooked. 


  • Store potentially hazardous foods such as meat, eggs and dairy products in the refrigerator at 4°C or lower until ready to use. Use lots of ice packs and/or bags of ice in coolers for picnics, BBQs or camping.
  • Cool leftovers quickly and store covered in the refrigerator or cooler at 4°C. Freeze meat products and cook from frozen to reduce risk.

REMEMBER: “If it’s pink in the middle, put it back on the griddle.”

For more information about food safety at home, visit our Food Safety page or call 1-800-660-5853. You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @LGLHealthUnit or on Instagram @lglhealthunit.z for important public health updates.


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