“Now that spring has sprung, the risk of food poisoning increases with the rise in temperature,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“If you’re looking to fire up the barbecue for dad this Sunday, make sure you remember that safe food preparation is just as important when you’re cooking on the barbecue as it is in your home kitchen.
“Cross contamination is a common mistake when people are cooking outdoors. It is important to always use a clean plate for your cooked meat and to not reuse one that may have raw juices or marinade on it.
“Outdoor eating and the warmer weather can create an ideal environment for bacteria.
“When large quantities of food are cooked and left out in the open for long periods, food poisoning bugs can multiply.
“The most common bacteria associated with food poisoning is salmonella and statistically salmonellosis notifications follow a seasonal pattern and increase in warmer months.
“In the summer months of 2013 there was an average of 371 salmonellosis notifications for NSW residents compared to an average of 186 over the winter months.”
If you’re firing up the barbecue for dad, follow the NSW Food Authority’s key tips for outdoor cooking and dining:
cook foods to at least 60 degrees Celsius;
don’t eat cooked foods that have been left out for more than two hours;
if you’re travelling, store uncooked and ready-to-eat foods in separate sealed containers and keep them cold during transport using a chiller bag or esky;
don’t eat foods that should be refrigerated if they have been left out for more than two hours;
wash and dry hands thoroughly before starting to prepare or eat any food;
keep benches, equipment and tableware clean and dry; and
use separate plates and utensils for cooking and serving.