Barbecue safety - Blaby District Council

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Barbecue Safety 


Barbecues are fun. Food poisoning isn't.

Barbecues are often associated with food poisoning,due to chilled food being left out in warm weather and a lack of separation between raw and cooked food. In addition, the proper cooking of meat is harder to achieve than in an ordinary oven or grill.

This page gives you details of how to have safe barbecues for the summer season.

Keeping BBQ food safe to eat

  • Make sure the BBQ charcoal is glowing red

  • Always wash your hands after handling raw meat

  • Keep chilled food refrigerated until you need them

  • Use different utensils for handling raw meat and cooked meat and don't let them touch each other on the barbecue

  • Don't add sauce or marinade to cooked food if it has already been used with raw meat

  • Keep all raw meats separate from salads and breads

  • Use separate plates for raw and ready-to-eat foods

  • Cover foods to ensure that flies and other insects don't settle on your food

  • Ensure frozen food is defrosted thoroughly - preferably overnight in the fridge, unless the manufacturer claims the food can be cooked from frozen

  • Cook your food evenly by turning it regularly

  • Cook meat such as chicken, pork, sausages, burgers and kebabs fully all the way through

Ensuring your barbecue is safe

  • Never light a barbecue in an enclosed space (NEVER in a tent, garage or shed) even if it is raining. Carbon monoxide is given off by barbecues and is a lethal gas

  • Position your barbecue on a flat, level surface away from overhanging vegetation, fences, sheds and other fuel

  • Check you barbecue is in good working order - check that bolts and screws are tight

  • NEVER pour petrol on your barbecue - only use recommended fluids or fire lighters

  • Wear suitable clothing and use long-handled utensils

  • Do not move the barbecue when it is still hot

  • Never leave the barbecue unattended

  • Never put hot coals or ashes in the dustbin

  • When you've finished cooking with a gas barbecue, turn off the gas before you turn off the barbecue controls, this means that the gas in the pipeline will be used up

  • Always keep your gas cylinders outside and away from direct sunlight or frost

  • Keep a bucket of water, garden hose or bucket of sand nearby in case of emergencies

  • Don't forget to enjoy yourself - but don't drink too much if you are in charge of a barbecue 


Six top tips for a top barbecue

Getting fired up about barbecue bugs: the facts 

External links 

If you want your barbecue to be a sizzling success, find out more at


Environmental Health 
Blaby District Council
Council Offices
Desford Road
LE19 2EP
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0116 272 7555
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0116 272 7594
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0116 284 9786
Last updated: 04 December 2014

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