7 Step Cheat Sheet For Food Poisoning Free BBQs


BBQ season is upon us, and I bet you cant wait to get the grill warmed up and get some delicious food cooking.

But, did you know, during BBQ season, cases of food poisoning double in the US?!

We don’t want to be killjoys, but a trip to ER is never fun.

And when it's a loved one who has eaten something you've cooked? Let's just say the guilt is even more painful than having food poisoning!

And yet, it really is just simple things that can make all the difference.

We’ve put together a 7 step cheat sheet that will eliminate the risk of food poisoning when barbecuing altogether. 


1. Repeat the mantra, ‘charred does not mean cooked through’


It amazes us that people still think that the browned outside of chicken pieces or burgers mean the insides are cooked right through.

The truth is, there really is no way to know. The length of time it takes for something to get brown or charred is completely dependent on how hot the barbecue grill is.

Grills are never as accurate as an oven, plus a BBQ grill is subject to whatever temperature it happens to be outdoors (as opposed to an oven which is a closed unit).

The only way to check that any food is cooked through to a safe temperature is to push the probe of a food thermometer right into the center of food.

Stop thinking you have x-ray vision!

Just this one tip could halve the number of annual food poisoning related ER trips in the US! 


2. Consider ‘pre-heating’ food


Purists will hate this and say a true BBQ is one where the food is cooked completely outdoors.

Thats fine and well, but sometimes youre just pushed for time and need to have a barbecue session done quickly. Other times, more people than expected have turned up to your event.

Its occasions like these when we panic and start trying to cook food too fast, which is when mistakes happen.

Consider using your oven to pre-heat meats, and then finish them off on the barbecue grill.

Your family and friends will still get that smoky, scorched taste (just dont tell the purists!)


3. Don’t wash raw chicken


We’re amazed that so many recipe books STILL instruct people to wash raw chicken!

First of all, it is completely unnecessary.

As long as you cook chicken right through, all bacteria and germs on the surface and beyond will be killed. So youre just adding an extra step to your cooking for no reason.



Secondly, the water just splashes germs and bacteria everywhere!

Tiny specks can get onto utensils, worktops, clothes etc. Do you really fancy a deep clean of your kitchen with antibacterial liquid right in the middle of a barbecue? Didnt think so.


4. Cook food for longer on a disposable BBQ


A real issue is when people, who are used to barbecuing on properBBQ grills, then cook on a disposable one.

These people can be very confident of correct cooking timesfor different types of food, and rely on past experience.

However, disposable BBQs take longer to heat up, and take longer to heat food to safe temperatures.

As always, the only way to know your food is safe is to use a cooking thermometer.



5. Keep raw food away from all serving plates and cutlery


Weve seen it before where theres a huge table with everything you could need for the BBQ all piled up.

Keep anything uncooked on a separate table away from where you have your plates and cutlery. Sometimes, all it takes is a minute speck of salmonella or E.coli bacteria to land on someones fork or plate for them to become very ill.

Ideally, dont bring out your crockery and cutlery until all your food is ready to serve.


6. Get into the habit of washing your hands


Most people wash their hands before starting to prepare food. But many forget to wash hands in between handling different food.

Make sure you always wash hands before and after handling meat, fish, eggs and vegetables to avoid cross contamination.


7. Avoid cross contamination of food items


Have a completely separate set of utensils, crockery and cutlery for cooked food that never touch raw meats.

Cutting boards are a prime area for cross contamination, so have 2 separate boards, one that you always use for raw meats, and the other for cooked food and fruit and vegetables.

Wooden cutting boards have also been proven to harbor less bacteria than synthetic boards.




Have separate utensils for raw meats too. Our BBQ tool set is great for turning meat and vegetables, but its worth having a second set to use for serving the food when they are cooked or opt to have a set of spatulas just for using on cooked food.




If you follow all the tips above, we promise you, youre BBQ will be remembered for all the right reasons this year!


John Hinklebower#1

Another great post. Much needed info as far as avoiding food poisoning. My wife and I BBQ’ed a couple weeks ago and lo and behold, 2-3 days later, we both ended up with food poisoning. I wish I had read this then! You have to be careful!


Thanks for thses steps.It sounds interesting . Hope for the best and tudos for your great contents.Tonights BBQ party will be a tremendous one.


Thanks for these steps.It sounds interesting . Hope for the best and tudos for your great contents.Tonights BBQ party will be a tremendous one.

Bobby Shure#4

I wish more people would take these tips to heart as I imagine there is at least 2 people out of 10 who are violating one of them! Kudos to you for sharing this essential article.

Albert Park#5

I study microbiology and immunology in university, and these seem like pretty sound tips. From all the lessons I learned, I cannot stress how important washing your hands is, I personally find myself washing my hands 3-5 times whenever I handle raw meat.


Being pregnant, I try to avoid food poisioning in all ways. I had NO idea food poisioning was more than double in the US. Is it the lack of food education? I also had no clue that it’s a big no no to wash chicken. Now my kitchen needs a major cleaning!

Emma Burns#7

After getting food poisoning from coleslaw at a bbq, I have stayed far away from eating anything unsafe. These seem like pretty solid tips. Now that the sun has arrived I am thinking of having a bbq and these tips are great for avoiding making anyone sick

Marie Bullard#8

This post states everything I’ve been saying for years. I always make sure my hands are cleaned after touching raw foods. I definitely make sure that if I’m not cooking, that those who are their hands are cleaned. When I BBQ outside, I like to always sanitize my grill by burning boxes under and over it first, then washing the grill off. There have been many times where I got sick from the grill not being cleaned thoroughly.

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