If you spend much time BBQing and your results don’t suck, you’re likely to have folks ask you to cook for them. Now this can be as simple as an extra side of ribs for the neighbor on a Sunday afternoon, or it could border on a catering job. Either way safe food handling is extremely important, since the last thing you want is to make someone sick.
Now I don’t advocate amateur catering. If you’re heading down that track, then by all means get a business license, health department trained and inspected, insurance, and do it right. But for the rest of us who may turn in an occasional BBQ competition entry or send BBQ to an ailing friend, here a few tips to make sure everyone stays safe.
Safe Food Handling Tips:
- Refrigerate or freeze perishable food within 2 hours of shopping or preparing; 1 hour when the temperature is above 90 °F.
- Find separate preparation areas in the work space for raw and cooked food.
- Never place cooked food back on the same plate or cutting board that held raw food.
- Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and work surfaces frequently with hot, soapy water.
- Keep hot food hot & cold food cold. You want to keep food out of the danger zone where bacteria can grow. The danger zone is from 40*-140*. This is important during preparation and transportation of food.
- For God’s sake, wash your hands….often. It’s also a good idea to wear disposable gloves. They’re cheap.
- And finally, WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT! Don’t take chances. Your health and that of your guests isn’t worth serving questionable food. You can always order pizza! =)
With the holidays approaching and lots of opportunities to share our favorite foods during family gatherings, workplace luncheons, and so on, these few simple tips will ensure that everyone stays safe.