“Outdoor eating and the warmth of summer can create the perfect environment for foodborne illness causing bacteria to multiply,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“As the temperature rises, so does your risk of food poisoning.
“Food poisoning affects around 5.4 million Australians each year and traditionally there is a rise in cases during the warmer months.
“Safe food preparation is just as important when you’re in the great outdoors as it is in your home kitchen.
“Australians are blessed with an abundance of fresh, pure foods delivered daily to retail shops from our primary producers, but it is important that this purity is not compromised when being served.
“Cross contamination is a common mistake people make when cooking outdoors, it is important not to return cooked meat to a plate that may have contained raw juices or marinade,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
The golden rules of food safety:
- wash and dry your hands thoroughly before preparing and handling food
- keep your kitchen, BBQ and utensils clean
- keep cold food cold and hot food hot
- cook food properly
- check food labels
- separate raw and cooked foods
Tips for outdoor cooking and dining:
- chill food in the fridge before removing
- if you’re travelling store uncooked and ready-to-eat foods in separate sealed containers and keep cold during transport using a chiller bag or esky
- use separate plates and utensils for cooking and serving
- don’t leave cooked foods and salads out in the sun for more than 2 hours.
The summer eating guide is also available from the Food Authority website.