Every year 120,000 extra cases of illnesses are recorded during the British summer.1 With the weather heating up hygiene experts are concerned that our laid-back approach to barbecue hygiene is a key contributor to the 5.5 million cases of food poisoning, which cause 20,000 hospitalizations and 500 deaths each year. 2
Seasonal stomach upsets could be linked as much to poor hand, surface and utensil hygiene as badly cooked meat, with new research revealing that nearly 50% of people don’t wash their hands when preparing food 3 and 75% of preparation surfaces are home to more bacteria than a sanitary bin! 4 With bacteria such as E. coli and Campylobacter being present on raw meats and poultry, we need to be particularly careful to avoid cross-contamination risks which can have a hazardous impact when it comes to the health and wellbeing of your guests, with some leaving with far more than they bargained for.
According to Health Practitioner Dr Lisa Ackerley “People often associate barbecue safety as being solely about cooking meat properly, and although that is important, poor hygiene of equipment and surfaces  outdoors are significant factors when it comes to cross contamination and food poisoning.”
So before firing up the grill this summer, take heed of Dr Lisa Ackerley’s top tips for safe and hygienic entertaining this barbecue season.
It is important to avoid using dishcloths to clean where possible, as new research has revealed nine out of ten are ‘heavily contaminated’ with bacteria such as E.coli.5  Make sure surfaces are hygienically clean and grease free by using Dettol Power & Pure Advance Kitchen Spray & Wipes – the Active Oxygen formula breaks down to water and oxygen leaving no harsh chemical residue, and kills 99.9% of bacteria which could contaminate barbecue shelves, garden tables and other surrounding surfaces.
Almost half of frequently touched items and surfaces are contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria 3 therefore it is essential that guests wash their hands when eating or handling food.  Use an anti-bacterial hand wash like Dettol Anti-bacterial No Touch Hand Wash with E45 which kills 99.9% of bacteria whilst keeping hands feeling soft and replenished.
Studies have found that E.coli can survive for over 28 days on stainless steel surfaces6 such as cooking utensils so it is important to keep them thoroughly clean. Remember to think about using separate tongs, cutlery and utensils when handling cooked and uncooked meat to prevent cross contamination between equipment.