Cook safely on a barbecue

Every year people get ill from barbecue food that is not cooked safely. Food poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach ache and fever. 

Bugs such as E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter can cause serious illness. You can take some simple steps to reduce the risks.

You should:

  • wait until the charcoal is glowing red, with a powdery grey surface, before you start to cook
  • thaw frozen food fully before you cook it
  • turn the food regularly, and move it around the barbecue, to cook it evenly
  • always cook meat through to the middle, even if it’s charred on the outside it might not be fully cooked
  • check the centre of the food is piping hot
  • check there are no pink bits left in poultry, pork, burgers, sausages and kebabs
  • check that any juices run clear
  • always wash your hands thoroughly between touching raw and cooked foods, after you use the toilet and after you touch any rubbish or waste
  • keep raw meat in a sealed container away from ready-to-eat foods, like burger buns and salads
  • never put cooked food on a plate or surface that you’ve used for raw meat
  • use separate utensils for raw and cooked meat
  • not put raw meat next to cooked or partially cooked meat on the barbecue
  • not add sauce or marinade to cooked food if you’ve used it with raw meat
  • use disposable cloths to clear up spillages or to wipe down surfaces
  • put leftovers in a fridge as soon as possible
  • reheat leftovers to a high temperature for at least 10 minutes
  • not reheat food more than once

For more advice, phone 01273 292 161 or send an email to

Find out where and when you can barbecue on the seafront in Brighton & Hove.