Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

May 11, 2006 16:24 ET

CFIA/Notice To Food Editors

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

As the warm weather approaches, we get tired of indoor cooking and often turn to the barbecue to cook our food. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is issuing two food safety fact sheets: Food Safety Tips on E. coli O157:H7 and Food Safety Tips for Barbecuing to remind consumers about safe food handling and preparation.

While food safety is important all the time, safe food handling and
cooking practices are especially important during the barbecue season

- microorganisms grow well in warm, humid weather;
- more people are cooking outside further away from food safety
equipment (refrigerator, sinks, clean platters and utensils); and
- barbecuers may be infrequent cooks who may not know about food

To reduce the risk of foodborne illness, it's important for consumers to learn how to properly handle and cook food, especially hamburgers and other products made from ground beef. The rule is "Your burger's done at 71 degrees. Celsius" Cook hamburgers to a minimum of 71 degrees Celsius and check that they're properly cooked by using a food thermometer. Cooking to 71 degrees Celsius destroys the microorganisms in ground beef that can cause foodborne illness (aka food poisoning). Symptoms of foodborne illness range from nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, kidney failure and in some cases, can result in more serious illness or even death.

Food Safety Tips on E. coli O157:H7 and Food Safety Tips for Barbecuing are attached and can also be viewed, along with additional food safety information, on the CFIA's website at

The Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education's newly revised website,, contains a wide variety of useful information on safe food handling practices as well as a table of Safe Doneness internal cooking temperatures for meats and poultry.

For more information, or to speak with a food safety spokesperson, you can contact our Media Relations office at (613) 228-6682.

Thanks for helping us get these important food safety messages to consumers.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Media Relations
    (613) 228-6682