Barbecue weather gives food for thought

With more good weather forecasted for August, people across East Dunbartonshire, North Lanrkshire and North Glasgow will be reaching for the barbecue.

But they need to be aware of the health issues related to alfresco dining which have led to a 27 per cent increase in food poisoning in recent weeks - nearly 1,100 cases according to NHS Scotland.

Council food safety experts have issued some helpful tips to make barbie time both safe and germ free.

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Washing your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after touching meat and before eating can cut down the risk, as can keeping raw and cooked food separate.

Make sure the coals of the barbecue are glowing red before starting to cook and defrost frozen meat and poultry fully before cooking.

Don’t put sauce or marinade on cooked meat if it was in contact with the meat when it was raw, and check everything is cooked right through.

Don’t leave food out of the fridge for more than a couple of hours, don’t leave food in the sun, and refrigerate any leftovers as soon as possible (or dispose of them). If reheating food check it’s piping hot in the middle.

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Make sure you use disposable cloths and disinfectant sprays and don’t wash raw chicken before cooking.

For further information go to or call the council on 0300 123 4510 and speak to a food safety officer.