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BBQ Safety

Organizing a BBQ for a charity event, fundraiser or customer appreciation? Peterborough Public Health is here to help! Food safety is especially important when you are preparing food for the public. The following steps will guide you to a healthy and safe BBQ.

Step 1: Notify a Public Health Inspector –

  • Give us a call! 705 743 1000

Step 2: Gather your supplies:

  • Commercially pre-cooked meat (burgers, hot dogs, sausages). No raw meat!
  • Plastic bins, wrap, lids for protecting food from contamination – keep food stored off the ground and covered.
  • Probe thermometer for verifying reheating (74 degrees C) and hot holding (60 degrees C) temperatures.
  • Handwashing set-up (camp jug with warm, potable water and a spout so that both hands can be washed at the same time, liquid hand soap in a pump, paper towels, and a bin for catching the wastewater).
  • Plastic bins for storing extra cooking utensils (have plenty in case your BBQ tongs are dropped – no 5-second rule!), napkins, take-out containers, etc.
  • A patio umbrella or portable picnic shelter to cover the food preparation/condiments area.
  • Sanitizer – a spray bottle with 1 litre of water and 1 teaspoon of bleach along with paper towels for cleaning surfaces.
  • And finally, a garbage bin lined with a plastic garbage bag.

Step 3: Keep cold foods cold, and hot foods hot:

  • Ice or ice-packs in insulated coolers for storing meats and cheese, with a thermometer inside for ensuring the temperature is 4 degrees C or colder.
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared with lots of ice for hot days! Store your coolers in shaded areas (under your umbrella/picnic shelter).
  • Properly reheat your food to 74 degrees C and then maintain it at over 60 degrees C until it’s served – use your probe thermometer!

Step 4: Feed those hungry guests!:

  • Wash hands thoroughly before handling food and after handling money.
  • Use clean tongs and napkins/food wrappers to avoid direct hand contact with food.

Step 5: The clean-up:

  • Use the sanitizer spray and paper towels to clean surfaces.
  • Ensure all containers, tongs, etc. are washed in hot soapy water and sanitized with a bleach and water solution (2 teaspoons of bleach in 4 litres of water).
  • Dispose of wastewater properly down a sink or toilet – do not dump wastewater on the ground or in a storm sewer.
  • Place garbage in a designated waste bin.

Step 6: Relax and celebrate your awesome day! Funds raised, customers appreciated, everyone fed – and nobody sick!