How to Avoid Food Poisoning

7 May 2013 On The Menu

Food poisoning can ruin a cottage weekend. Fortunately, it is easily prevented when we follow a few simple steps.

Tips to Avoid Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is always a risk when cooking with chicken so we need to take a bit of extra care when preparing the cabin meal.

Infographic: How to avoid food poisoning at the cottage
How to avoid food poisoning

How do you avoid food poisoning when cooking on the barbecue?
Wash Your Hands
Always wash your hands before handling the food. This ensures you won’t transfer any bacteria to the food right from the beginning of the preparation process.

Separate Utensils
Use separate plates and utensils for handling raw and cooked meat. Putting the cooked meat on clean plates will prevent contamination from any bacteria that might have been on the meat before it was cooked.

Never Marinade Twice
Don’t use the original marinade sauce for basting. Cooking usually kills any germs that might have been in the marinade, but basting with it just adds them on top again and they might not get cooked.

Use The Microwave
Thaw food in the fridge or microwave. This is a safer way to keep bacteria from getting onto the food. Leaving food to thaw on the counter or in the sink is very risky.

Precook Chicken
Cooking chicken in the microwave or oven before you place it on the BBQ is a good idea. Chicken is a high-risk meat when it comes to food causing tummy troubles.

Preheat the BBQ
It is best to put meat on the BBQ when the BBQ has reached the required cooking temperature. Meat that is thrown onto a cold grill can get contaminated.

Use A Thermometer
A thermometer is the safest and most reliable way to ensure the food reaches the required cooking temperatures.

This one claims to be waterproof.

Each BBQ is different and a thermometer is the safest way to make sure the heat is at the required level for the particular type of meat that you are cooking. The temperature gauge on the BBQ itself is often inaccurate.

Seal Leftovers
Store leftovers in sealed containers and eat the food within two days. Bacteria can develop on leftovers very quickly and may cause a lot of grief, especially if you like to eat your leftovers without reheating.

What are the recommended safe cooking temperatures for beef, chicken and pork?
Each class of food has a recommended safe cooking temperature. Go to our popular meat temperature chart to see the Health Canada and USDA temperature guide.

Need more cottage food tips?
Go to the Planning Cottage Dinners page.
Go to the Cottage Meals and Recipes page for our simple and tasty cabin recipes.
Go to the BBQ Maintenance page to see the tips on troubleshooting and repairs.
Go to the Cooking On The BBQ page for beginner tips for how to use a BBQ.