Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

May 11, 2006 16:35 ET

CFIA: Barbecuing Food Safetytips Preventing Foodborne Illness

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 11, 2006) -

The safe chef

Everybody loves a barbecue, but careful preparation is essential to preventing foodborne illness. Follow these tips from Canada's food safety experts. Play it "food safe" this summer - and all year long!

Your Barbecue Food Safety Checklist

Get off to a CLEAN start!

- Handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of
foodborne illness. Do you wash your hands for at least 20
seconds with soap and warm water before and after handling food?
Wash again when you switch from one food to another.

- Are your countertops and utensils clean and sanitized? Sanitizing
reduces bacteria and can prevent foodborne illness.
- Combine 5 mL (1 tsp) of bleach with 750 mL (3 cups) of water in
a labelled spray bottle.
- After cleaning, spray sanitizer on the surface/utensil and let
stand briefly.
- Rinse with lots of clean water, and air dry (or use clean

Foodsafe tip: Washing raw meat is not recommended since it may
lead to cross contamination of nearby surfaces and food.

CHILL out by the BBQ!

- Keep food cool at or below 4 degres Celsius (40 degres F). It's
best to keep perishable food in the fridge or cooler until you
are ready to cook it or eat it. Bacteria can grow and "spoil"
food left in the temperature danger zone (4 degres to 60 degres
Celsius/40 degres to 140 degres F) for more than two hours.

- Keep the cooler cool. Pack the cooler with freezer packs to keep
the temperature at or below 4degresC (40 degres F). Keep the
cooler in the shade, and cover it with a blanket for added

Foodsafe tip: You may want to use two coolers - one for drinks
(since it may get opened more often) and another for food.

COOK safely!

- Have a digital food thermometer handy. Prevent foodborne illness
by cooking food to a safe internal temperature. See table. Food
safety experts say food thermometers are the only way to cook
foods safely without overcooking!

- Keep hot food hot at or above 60 degres Celsius (140 degres F) to
prevent the growth of bacteria and reduce the chance of foodborne

When is my food ready to eat?
Food Temperature
fully cooked and ready-to-eat meats You can eat it cold or
(e.g. ham, roast) you can heat it.
beef and veal steaks and roasts 63 degres Celsius(145 degres F)
71 degres Celsius (160 degres F)
77 degres Celsius (170 degres F)
well done
pork chops, ribs, roasts; 71 degres Celsius (160 degres F)
ground beef, ground pork and
ground veal, including sausages
made with ground beef/pork/veal
stuffing and casseroles, hot dogs, 74 degres Celsius (165 degres F)
leftovers, egg dishes;ground
chicken and ground turkey,
including sausages made with
ground chicken/turkey
chicken and turkey breasts, legs, 85 degres Celsius (185 degres F)
thighs and wings; chicken and
turkey, whole bird

SEPARATE raw and cooked food!

- Raw food can cross-contaminate cooked food and cause foodborne
illness. Keep raw and cooked food separate and covered.

Foodsafe tip: Before marinating meat, set some marinade aside
in the fridge so you can use it later to baste meat or as a
dipping sauce. It's best not to use leftover marinade from the
raw food on the cooked food.

- Have clean plates and cooking utensils ready. Never use the same
plate, tray or utensils for raw and cooked food. Raw meat juices
can spread bacteria to your safely cooked food and cause
foodborne illness!

Six easy tips for safe leftovers

1. Cool food quickly to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria! To
speed up the cooling process of large pots of food, place the pot
in a sinkful of ice-water and stir it occasionally.

2. Store food in shallow containers. Cover containers when cool to
prevent cross-contamination.

3. Refrigerate as soon as possible! If food is held in the danger
zone (4 degres Celsius to 60 degres Celsius / 40 degres to 140
degres F) for two hours or longer, don't keep it as leftovers.
You can't tell if food is safe by looking, smelling or tasting
it. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out! On hot summer days,
don't hold food at room temperature for more than one hour.

4. Do not overstuff the fridge! Cool air needs to circulate around
the food.

5. Eat properly handled leftovers within two to three days for best
quality and safety. Reheat leftovers to 74 degres C
(165 degres F).

6. Freeze leftovers right away if you don't think you'll eat them
within two to three days.

Safeguarding Canada's Food Supply

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is the Government of Canada's key science-based regulator for food safety(i), animal health and plant protection. At the CFIA, the safety of Canada's food supply is central to everything we do.

(i) in partnership with Health Canada

For more information on:

- food safety; and
- ordering free copies of this pamphlet;

visit the CFIA Web site at

Contact Information

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    1 (800) 442-2342
    TTY 1 (800) 465-7735
    (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).
    Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education