Everyone loves a barbecue in the summer unfortunately, so do bacteria that can make people sick. With the free and easy feel of outdoor barbecuing it s easy to forget that the rules of safe food handling we use indoors still apply outdoors. In fact, cases of food bourne illness increase significantly during the summer months and outdoor barbecuing is suspected of being a major cause of the problem. To prevent illness, Toronto Public Health recommends you to follow the 4-Step Food Safety Guide. Before handling food, thoroughly wash hands with soap and warm water. Also wash and sanitize utensils, plates and cutting boards that come in contact with uncooked food to remove harmful bacteria; Raw food and their juices can contain harmful bacteria and can transfer to cooked food, so avoid cross contamination. Store raw and cooked food in separate containers and bring extra clean utensils to handle raw and cooked food separately; Heat kills harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli so raw meat must be cooked thoroughly to a safe internal temperature. For ground beef burger, be sure to cook to an internal temperature of at least 71 C and till the juice runs clear. For chicken, cook to at least 74 C. Harmful bacteria love the danger zone between 4 C and 60 C. Always keep food cold at 4 C until cooking and the same for storing leftovers. Keep hot food hot to at least 60 C after cooking and never keep food in the danger zone for too long. Food can spoil easily and bacteria can grow fast in the danger zone and can increase the risk of food bourne illness To learn more about BBQ food safety, Toronto Public invites you to take a look at the four step food prep guide!