Food Safety Tips to Keep Your Backyard Barbecue Safe

I have been to many a backyard barbecue over the years and I have seen food handling that leaves a great deal to be desired. Some of my friends had no concept regarding safe food handling at all. They are not alone however in their lack of knowledge about food safety.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 76,000,000 people get sick every year from some form of food poisoning. How they know this I am not quite sure, but based on my personal experiences I would tend to believe it. The CDC also estimates that about 325,000 people are hospitalized every year from some form of food borne illness.

That is why I decided to write an article about food safety tips. I wanted to help people keep their backyard barbecue a safe one for all concerned. The basics of safe food handling in your backyard is really not that much different from food safety at a restaurant. The science and basic principals are the same. You just need to adapt the science to your specific situation. russian food store

You see there are many types of bacteria, some good and some bad and it is the bad ones of course that can make you sick. However those bacteria can’t grow to a point where you can get sick unless certain basic conditions exist. Know the conditions that you can control and you can protect yourself and your guests.

There are six conditions that need to exist for bacteria to grow:

-Bacteria need an energy source for food such as a carbohydrate or protein like a meat.
-The food must have little or no acidity.
-Bacteria need the air temperature to be within a certain range to grow.
-Bacteria also need to be at those temperatures for a specific period of time to grow.
-Some types need oxygen to grow and some don’t.
-Bacteria need moisture to grow as well.

Of these 6 conditions, two are what really can come into play at your barbecue and fortunately they are the two conditions you have the most control over. Those two conditions would be time and temperature. There is a specific temperature range that fosters the grow of bacteria. This range is commonly referred to as the danger zone, but having food in these temperature ranges alone does not mean that bacteria will grow to a dangerous level. Your food has to be in this range for a specific period of time as well.

So you see it is both time and temperature that you have to worry about.

The danger zone that I refer to is technically between 41 degrees F and 135 degrees F, however to be safe I always suggest to my readers to keep your cold food cold meaning 40 degrees F or less and your hot food hot, meaning 145 degrees F or higher.

This really comes into play when you are entertaining all day long. If you keep your food out for your guests to eat all afternoon and you let it stay within the danger zone for longer than two hours then it is probably not safe to eat any more.