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Prevent intestinal problems from the barbecue

  1. Wonderful, those long summer evenings, when you can eat outside. There is a good chance that the barbecue will turn on regularly. However, having a nice meal with friends becomes a lot less pleasant when everyone is left with severe diarrhea. According to estimates, more than 10 percent of the Dutch each year contract some form of food poisoning or infection during a barbecue. That's why these tips to prevent stomach and intestinal problems from barbecuing will certainly come in handy.

  2. Wonderful, those long summer evenings when you can eat outside. There is a good chance that the barbecue will turn on regularly. Cozy eating with friends, however, becomes a lot less enjoyable when everyone is left with severe diarrhea. According to estimates, more than 10 percent of the Dutch each year contract some form of food poisoning or infection during a barbecue. That is why these tips to prevent stomach and intestinal problems from barbecuing will certainly come in handy.

  1. First of all, most people don't know that food poisoning and food infection are two different things. With food poisoning, bacteria or fungi produce a toxic substance in your food that cannot be made harmless by heating. A major cause of food poisoning is the staphylococcus bacteria. This bacteria multiplies very quickly at room temperature and is usually spread due to poor hygiene. You will get the first symptoms within 8 hours of eating contaminated food. Think of stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting. Sometimes food poisoning even causes gastrointestinal inflammation. If the complaints do not subside after 48 hours or are accompanied by severe pain, it is wise to contact your doctor.

  2. First of all, most people don't know that food poisoning and food infection are two different things. With food poisoning, bacteria or fungi produce a toxic substance in your food, which cannot be made harmless by heating. A major cause of food poisoning is the staphylococcus bacteria. This bacteria multiplies very quickly at room temperature and is usually spread due to poor hygiene. You will get the first symptoms within 8 hours of eating contaminated food. Think of stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting. Sometimes food poisoning even causes gastrointestinal inflammation. If the complaints do not subside after 48 hours or are accompanied by severe pain, it is wise to contact your doctor.

Prevention is better than cure

  1. A food infection is much more common and is caused by a pathogenic amount of bacteria, fungi or viruses in the food. The most notorious culprit of a foodborne infection is salmonella bacteria. This bacteria is found in meat, eggs and milk. The symptoms of food infection appear within 8 to 24 hours of eating contaminated food. The symptoms can be quite severe. Think of sudden, severe stomach cramps, (sometimes bloody) diarrhea, severe vomiting and sometimes a fever. Not pleasant and also usually easy to prevent through good hygiene and the correct food preparation.

It starts with the shopping

  1. Always buy perishables as late as possible, especially when it is warm. The butcher or the fishmonger are the last shops you visit. And that also applies to the meat or fish shelf in the supermarket. Note the use-by date. Use a cooler bag to take the groceries home. Go home straight away so that your groceries don't spend unnecessarily long in the car in the heat. Put your groceries directly in the fridge at home. If you use an extra refrigerator in the garage - as is often the case in the summer - check whether it still works, is clean and is set to 4 degrees Celsius.

  2. Always buy perishable goods as late as possible, especially when it is warm. The butcher or the fishmonger are the last shops you visit. And that also applies to the meat or fish shelf in the supermarket. Note the use-by date. Use a cooler bag to take the groceries home. Go home straight away so that your groceries don't spend unnecessarily long in the car in the heat. Put your groceries directly in the fridge at home. If you use an extra refrigerator in the garage - as is often the case in the summer - check whether it still works, is clean and is set to 4 degrees Celsius.

Good preparation is half the battle

  1. Remember to wash your hands. Do not only do this before you start preparing your barbecue, but wash your hands with disinfectant soap every time you have touched raw meat or fish. You defrost in the fridge, not on the counter. So take meat or fish out of the freezer a day in advance. Keep utensils and countertops clean. Use new kitchen tools with every new type of raw meat or fish and also change the (plastic or glass) cutting board. Shortage of material? Then wash off in hot water with soapy water in between. Also provide clean towels, tea towels and especially dishcloths. The dishcloth is usually the largest source of pathogenic bacteria. Always cover your food so that any flying vermin has no chance. Do this after you have made it, but also when it is on the table outside. A beautifully presented dish with meat and fish adorns the table, but almost guarantees cross-contamination. It is therefore preferable to keep the different types of raw meat and fish strictly separate. Always place meat and fish at the bottom of the refrigerator, so that any leaking liquid does not drip onto other products. Wash vegetables well and do this also with fruit if it is not being peeled.

  2. Remember to wash your hands. Do not only do this before you start preparing your barbecue, but wash your hands with disinfectant soap every time you have touched raw meat or fish. You defrost in the fridge, not on the counter. So take meat or fish out of the freezer a day in advance. Keep utensils and countertops clean. Use new kitchen utensils with every new type of raw meat or fish and also switch (plastic or glass) cutting boards. Shortage of material? Then wash off in hot water with soapy water in between. Also provide clean towels, tea towels and especially dishcloths. The dishcloth is usually the largest source of pathogenic bacteria. Always cover your food so that any flying vermin has no chance. Do this after you have made it, but also when it is on the table outside. A beautifully presented dish with meat and fish adorns the table, but almost guarantees cross-contamination. It is therefore preferable to keep the different types of raw meat and fish strictly separate. Always place meat and fish at the bottom of the refrigerator, so that any leaking liquid does not drip onto other products. Wash vegetables well and do this also with fruit if it is not being peeled.

Hygiene is the most important

  1. Hygiene is perhaps even more important when barbecuing than usual. For example, bacteria, which are always on raw meat, can multiply more quickly if this meat is left out of the refrigerator for too long. The consequence? A serious infection with diarrhea as the main complaint. Therefore, do not remove meat and fish from the refrigerator until it also goes on the barbecue grill and immediately put back what you are not using. In addition, make sure that plates and cutlery that have come into contact with raw meat do not come into contact with the cooked meat. Other points of interest: Do not use the tongs with which you put raw meat and fish on the barbecue to turn the same piece of meat or fish, but use different tools. When not in use, stick the tongs into the barbecue grill. The heat kills the bacteria in the raw food. Barbecuing is not to die for. At least: not during the preparation of the food. So don't lick the marinade of the raw meat off your fingers. In fact, don't touch it with your hands at all.

Well done is always better

  1. Meat and fish quickly look delicious on the barbecue, while they are still semi-raw on the inside. But it is important that they are well cooked, because the bacteria can survive in semi-raw meat and cause annoying gastrointestinal complaints. Are the pieces of meat very large or thick? If necessary, pre-cook them in the microwave or oven. Then you know for sure that the meat is no longer raw and you limit the risk of complaints to a minimum. Also provide enough light for the barbecue, so that you can see whether meat or fish is really well cooked. Also make sure that your food does not burn. Blackened meat may not cause stomach or intestinal problems, but it does increase the risk of cancer. Do not allow the temperature of the coals to rise too high and do not hang the grid too close to the coals.

Watch out after eating

  1. Finished eating? Then throw away anything that has been out of the refrigerator for too long. You can freeze fresh meat or fish that has not been left out of the refrigerator. Leftover meat or fish that comes out of the freezer is best cooked right on the barbecue. Then let it cool down quickly and put it in the refrigerator. Good for tomorrow!



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