My Healthy Eating Programme
Eating real food for the best possible lifestyle...

Log in here

Forgot your password?

Register now

Enter signup code

Fact File - BBQ Food



With the weather permitting, summer can be the perfect time for barbecues. This fact sheet highlights some of the important aspects of enjoying food safely and provides some tips to choose healthy, tasty options for the barbecue making the day enjoyable for all.


Food Poisoning

Food poisoning can double over the summer, bacteria which is invisible to our eyes, multiply faster in the warmth and can cause not only an upset stomach for a few days, but it can be more severe or even deadly, especially for  those who are particularly vulnerable, such as children and older people. Salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter are just some of the bacteria that can cause food poisoning but can be killed by cooking meat properly. Remember to keep food covered, away from flies or other insects.


Tips for a safer Barbecue

Below are a few essential tips to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

  • Make sure anything frozen is defrosted properly.
  • The coals should be glowing red before cooking, disposable barbecues take longer to heat and cook.
  • Pre-cook all chicken, minced meat products (burgers and sausages) in the oven before and give them a final finish on the barbecue for flavour.
  • Even though meats may look charred and cooked, cut into the thickest part of chicken, burgers or sausages and ensure any juices are clear or there is no pink meat.
  • Turn the meat often and move it around to make sure it is cooked evenly.
  • Do not wash raw chicken, this will just splash and spread bacteria about.
  • Avoid cross-contamination by storing and keeping cutlery separate for raw and cooked foods and observe personal hygiene, such as washing hands regularly.


As well as foods that need to be cooked, it is important to keep some foods cool to reduce food poisoning These include:

  • Salads, including those with rice or grains
  • Milk, cream products containing these
  • Dips and dressings
  • Sandwiches


Barbecues and Cancer

Heating meat to high temperatures, especially through smoke by fat dripping onto the coals, produce cancer causing chemicals. Although it is unlikely having a few seasonal barbecues will increase the risk significantly, there are a few ways to reduce these chemicals and contribute to eating more healthily.

By choosing both lean cuts of meat and less highly processed ones which are often higher in fat (or choose reduce fat varieties) and marinating meat first before cooking, this can reduce the chemicals produced. In addition discard any parts that are badly burnt.


Healthy Eating

Below are some more tips for a healthier, tasty barbecue:

Try homemade kebabs on skewers by adding chunks of vegetables such as courgettes, onions, peppers and aubergine. Slightly pre-cooked sweetcorn is also a perfect barbecue vegetable.
It is easy to make your own marinades for example, by mixing passata, garlic, herbs or mustard, lemon and honey with a little olive oil over meats, these can also be brushed on kebabs. Rely on herbs and spices rather than salt.
Rather than highly processed meats, such as sausages and burgers, choose lean cuts of free range chicken and meats which have less fat.
Fish is a tasty alternative to meat, each portion can be wrapped in a foil parcel with a little lemon juice and herbs and cooked on the barbecue for about 10 minutes.
Potatoes in their jackets, wrapped in foil and put under the coals for about an hour provide a healthy alternative to shop bought potato salad.


BBQ Recipes

Tandoori Chicken Kebabs and Cauli Couscous

This recipe is excellent for bringing a touch of heat to your kitchen in the cold winter months and is equally as complimentary in the hot summer afternoons cooked over a smoking barbeque. Our cauliflower 'couscous' is an excellent substitute for rice/potatoes/pasta etc. Making it all the more easy for you to maintain your ideal weight and feel at your best. - Find the recipe here.


Spiced Lamb Kebabs With Quinoa and Minted Yoghurt

Fascinating fact: Quinoa is often called a grain but it is, in fact, the seed of a leafy plant related to spinach. It is organic and grown in the Andean region of Equador. Quinoa is a great source of protein, containing all 9 types of amino acid. There are white or red varieties, and both are readily available. Serve this dish with some wild rocket leaves. - Find the recipe here.


Lime Pickle Prawn Skewers

Lime pickle prawn skewers is so easy and deliciously hot with the addition of the lime pickle. Enjoy your skewers for lunch, evening meal or perhaps on the BBQ at the weekend. For other family members you may like to tone the heat down a little with the addition of some plain yoghurt on the side - yoghurt puts out the fire. Serve with a large green salad. - Find the recipe here.

To read more from our blog please click on the boxes below.

How can our Power Up & Motivate With Positive Nutrition Series boost the energy and engagement in your workplace?  For an informal conversation please call Anna on 07778 218009.

Back to Index

Signup to get our latest blog updates emailed to you

© Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved

Web Development by Noisegate Media