Food Safety Tips for BBQ Season

Meat and vegetables being grilled on a bbq

It’s finally that time of year when everyone is ready to hang out with friends on the patio over a pint of beer and a lot of smoky, delicious BBQ meats. According to a 2019 study conducted by Statista, Canadians’ top favourite foods to grill on the barbecue are: steaks (43%), hamburgers (31%), ribs (9%), and hotdogs & sausages (7%). While it seems like barbecuing is an easier method of cooking, it in fact requires more stringent food handling than other types of cooking. This is due to the fact that barbecuing involves preparation of raw meats, which can increase the risk of cross contamination. According to Health Canada, pit masters should take the following food safety precautions when barbecuing meats on the grill:

  • Marinate meats in the refrigerator, not on the counter
  • Thaw meats in the cooler/refrigerator, not on the counter
  • Don’t use leftover marinade on cooked food (i.e. as a dipping sauce) if it has been in contact with raw meat
  • Use ice packs when storing meats in the cooler before barbecuing
  • Keep foods out of the temperature danger zone of 4°C to 60°C (40°F to 140°F) by storing them in a cooler/refrigerator
  • Keep raw meats wrapped separately so their juices don’t contaminate other foods
  • Use different sets of knives and utensils for preparing raw and cooked meats
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat
  • Make sure all cooking equipment, working surfaces, and utensils are sanitized using a mild bleach solution
  • Leftover foods should not be kept in room temperature for more than 2 hours – they should be stored in the cooler/refrigerator if they are not to be consumed immediately

Whether you are barbecuing from your own backyard or in a commercial kitchen at a BBQ restaurant, it’s important to follow food safety best practices to give your guests a worry-free dining experience. Don’t have enough cold storage space at your restaurant? You can rent a walk in cooler! At Coolmate Rentals, we specialize in providing restaurants and caterers with rental mobile coolers, freezers, and combo cooler and freezer units in sizes ranging from 6’ to 16’. If you or your restaurant is anticipating more business during BBQ season, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Coolmate Rentals and we’ll help you find the right restaurant walk in fridge.