With the Platinum Jubilee and a long weekend fast approaching, home and kitchen appliance brand AEG has issued a warning to anyone considering barbecuing. Food safety attention tends to focus on preventing cross-contamination and thoroughly cooking meat.

But AEG said it fears Britons don’t know enough about the rules when it comes to cooling leftovers. Hot weather and eating out can put barbecuers at risk of serious food poisoning from bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, E. coli and campylobacter.

To ensure a healthy Jubilee weekend, AEG has highlighted five rules for barbecue leftovers:

Cool cooked foods to room temperature

All foods should be cooled to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator. Placing large amounts of hot food in the refrigerator can raise the temperature of the refrigerator to dangerous levels at which bacterial growth can multiply.

Place in the refrigerator within one to hours

If left outside on a hot day, leftovers can reach the “danger zone”. This is a term used in food safety to refer to temperatures between 8°C and 60°C. Refrigerators should be safely kept below this temperature to a maximum of 4°C.

Bring food indoors as soon as possible

All leftover food should be brought indoors as soon as possible. Leaving it in the sun can allow bacteria to breed and risk contamination from insects and other animals.

Consume leftovers within 48 hours

The Food Standards Agency recommends that leftover barbecue be eaten within 48 hours. Although we should all try to avoid food waste, it should never put your health at risk.

Only reheat leftovers once

If you choose to reheat something like burgers, sausages, or any other meat, be sure to only do this once. The more you cool and reheat food, the greater the risk of food poisoning, as bacteria can multiply rapidly.

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