Outdoor Eating and Food Safety
The following are guidelines for a safe, healthy barbecues and outdoor eating. Cooking and eating outdoors simply requires the same knowledge of food and standards of hygiene as those used in the kitchen. Barbecue hints and tips
A sheltered, level site away from anything that could catch fire is best. Never try to move a lit barbecue, or leave it unattended.
A charcoal barbecue needs to be lit about 45 minutes before you would like to start cooking. A gas barbecue should be lit about 10 minutes before use.
Begin cooking when all the flames have died down and the coals are glowing red under a think layer of grey ash.
Placing fresh coals around the hot ones on the barbecue will kill the heat and serve to prolong the cooking time.
The heat for cooking can be controlled by adjusting the distance of the grill from the coals. The closer the grill is to the coals, the higher the heat will be.
Test the heat
A good way to test the heat of the barbecue is to carefully hold your hand about 15cm above the coals. If you can keep it there for only one or two seconds, the fire is hot. If you can keep your hand there for three to five seconds, the heat is medium. However, if you can keep your hand there for six to eight seconds, the barbecue is cool.
Take care when testing the heat this way and never encourage children to try this method. Take extra care when children and pets are present.
Things to look out for
If it rains, most food that can be barbecues can also be cooked under a medium grill, on a griddle or in a pre-heated oven.
Food can stick to the grill. To prevent this happening, brush the grill with oil before you begin cooking.
Watch out as fat, juices and marinades dripping onto the fire can cause flames to leap up, blacken the food and spoil the flavour. Keep a spray-bottle of cold water nearby to douse any flames.
Food, which is left, stuck to the...
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