Have a sizzling and safe barbecue this Bank Holiday weekend

August 21, 2016 by Southend Borough Council Press Release

Have a sizzling and safe barbecue this Bank Holiday weekend

Monday 22nd August 2016

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is backing a national Food Standards Agency (FSA) campaign to highlight the dangers of serving ‘pink burgers’, as residents dust off their barbecues and tongs this bank holiday weekend.

With gourmet burgers in restaurants becoming increasingly popular, some people may be tempted to serve their guests burgers that are pink in the middle. But a burger is not like steak. Steak can be served rare because any contamination on the surface of the meat is destroyed when the steak is seared on the outside.

Burgers are made of minced meat, so any bacteria, on the outside of the whole piece of meat, are mixed up throughout burgers when the meat is minced. If bacteria are mixed into the middle of the burger and it isn’t cooked all the way through, the bacteria can survive and cause food poisoning. That’s why a burger should be thoroughly cooked all the way through.

So, this Barbecue Weekend (27-29 August), rain or shine, the FSA is reminding everybody to:

  • cook burgers so they are steaming hot all the way through, no matter how good quality or expensive the meat;
  • check that none of it is pink and that any juices run clear; and
  • avoid cross-contamination by storing raw meat separately before cooking, using different utensils, plates and chopping boards for raw and cooked food.

Cllr Mark Flewitt, Executive Councillor for Housing, Planning and Public Protection Services at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: ““We want our residents to be equipped with the knowledge they need to enjoy a good grill without getting ill.

“Children, elderly and poorly people in your family in particular run the risk of getting food poisoning, or even worse – a life threatening illness - through serving a less than well-cooked burger at your barbecue this weekend.

“But if you follow the Food Standards Agency’s advice, you’ll be able to keep your loved ones safe and remember the bank holiday for all the right reasons.”

Find out more about the FSA’s top tips at: www.food.gov.uk/burgers


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