Handy Household Tips


Cook graphic Well it's that time of year again when better weather should be with us. Many people, maybe yourself, may be thinking of having a bar b que. Well, before you do, just read through these handy hints and tips to help make everything go better and more importantly safely.

Firstly choose a flat, level site and ensure that the structure of the bar b que is firm and ridged. The site should be well away from anything which may possibly catch fire, such as garden sheds, fences, garages ect and not underneath anything as well, such as an overhanging tree. It should also be sheltered from any breezes.

Keep a bucket of water or sand close by just in case of emergencies.
Even though it should be well away from any building it is worth considering closing any open windows to prevent the smoke from entering.

Set light to the bar b que well in advance of the time you intend using it, there should be no flames and the charcoal should be a whitish grey in colour when you are ready to start cooking. If you use a lighter fuel follow the instructions very carefully and always replace the cap firmly and keep it well away from the heat / sunlight and any children that may be about.
Never use fuels like petrol, paraffin or oil, and keep any fuel or matches well away in a safe place.

If using a gas bar b que make sure that the gas connectors are clean and fit tightly and correctly, also check that the connecting hose is in good condition and there are no leaks.

Never leave the bar b que un-attended, and any children present should be supervised at all times, as should any pets.
Avoid wearing clothes that are loose and could catch fire easily and use long handled, well insulated tools to prevent burns.

Never be tempted to move a portable bar b que once it has been lit, they get hot very quickly. As well as the risk of severe burns there is a real risk of the charcoal dropping out.

Never try re-starting using a liquid fuel as this could cause a flashover or explosion. Gently fan the embers instead.

When you have finished with the bar b que make sure that it is properly put out. This is best done by pouring water or sand over it. Never dispose of hot embers in a dustbin or other container, or near anything else that may burn. If using gas make sure that the gas bottle's are turned off and no seals are leaking. Store them in a well ventilated, cool place away from any heat source, including sunlight.

If choosing a new bar b que, one with a lid that can be used to smother flare-ups is preferable.
If gas is more your thing check that it has a certified safety label such as the British kite mark. It should then meet British standards number 5258 Part 14.
Do remember to read and follow any manufacturers instructions very carefully.

Food safety.
It is important to remember the following and not only when using a bar b Que.
Harmful bacteria may grow easily inside or outside raw meats particularly in warm conditions. This can cause food poisoning. Cooking will normally kill any bacteria if done properly. One big problem particularly with bar b que's is food may look cooked on the outside but still be raw in the middle. It may only be charred on the outside. Make sure the food is cooked all the way through by cutting through it or skewering it. There should not be any pink juices.

Ensure that frozen meats are thoroughly thawed before use, preferably in a refrigerator.

Keep raw and cooked food separate at all times, preferably at opposite ends of the bar b que and use separate utensils for raw and cooked food.
Keep the food covered, off the ground, and away from pets. Keep fresh food including salads and any dressings cold until required.
Do not cook more food than is necessary. Eat cooked food straight away, or put it in a refrigerator after it has cooled down sufficiently.

A good way to cut down the risk of undercooked food is to pre cook it beforehand, either in a microwave oven or a conventional oven and then finish it off on the bar b Que.

If you are unsure about anything to do with food safety, do not hesitate to contact your local Environmental Health Department. Someone there will be able to advise you on any matter concerning food and also they will have several related leaflets covering all aspects of food safety for you to read.

In case of Emergencies.

If somebody's clothing is set alight, lie the person on the ground and roll him or her over to put out the flames and / or wrap them in a fire proof rug or blanket to achieve the same result. Don't forget that the average garden hosepipe can also double quite efficiently as an Emergency Fire Hose.

Treat a burn immediately by holding the area under cold running water, or immerse it in a bowl of clean, cold water. Proper cooling of the burn may take as long as TEN MINUTES. Do NOT use any creams, lotion's, oil's, or butter.

Get Medical attention IMMEDIATELY for severe burns, and especially if a young child is involved.

Please feel free to print as many copies of this as you wish and distribute them to anyone you know who may be involved with a bar b Que. It could easily make the difference between somebody having a good time or getting seriously hurt, food poisoning, or even both.

Having said all that, Go for it and have a good time.

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