Add Fire to Your Holiday: How to Enjoy an Outdoor Barbecue Safely
As the good weather begins to make an appearance, Glaswegians are beginning to move their fun outdoors, with many heading to the city’s parks to enjoy a barbecue.
Mr Zeng who works in Glasgow said: “My favourite outdoor activity last year was having a BBQ in Kelvingrove Park with my friends. As we all know, Glasgow doesn’t always get the best of weather, so not everyone has their own private back garden. Being able to spend a sunny afternoon in a park with a tasty BBQ is a luxury.”
Despite disposable barbecues are enjoyed by many Scots every year, they do come with their own set of unique risks that should not be overlooked.
Pay attention to the food poisoning
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a barbecue with family and friends, but the mix of warm weather and outdoor cooking is the perfect recipe for food poisoning. Robert Rees, a chef and former board member of the Food Standards Agency, said: “Barbecues are an excellent way to unwind and have fun in the summer, but they can be disastrous if you do get food poisoning. The main food poisoning bugs cause severe stomach cramps, sickness and diarrhoea. It’s not surprising we see a peak in food-related illness this time of year.”
The Food Standard Agency (FSA) highlights that many people mistake food poisoning for an upset stomach, but it has the potential to be extremely serious. Food poisoning is most likely to occur when food:
Isn’t cooked or reheated thoroughly
Isn’t stored correctly – if it’s not been frozen or chilled
Is left out for too long
Is handled by someone who is ill or hasn’t washed their hands
Is eaten after its “use by” date.
However if you are unfortunate enough to catch food poisoning, the FSA provides some suggestions here.
Location is key when planning an outside BBQ
Although a large number of Glasgow’s parks have barbecues readily available, they must be used responsibly and with care. A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “Barbecues are allowed provided due care and attention is paid to the risk of fire and of scorch damage to parks furniture and grass.”
The spokesperson also added that the public should recognise the importance of safety and cleanliness when enjoying the barbecue season in Glasgow’s public spaces.
“If a disposable barbeque is lit and then placed directly onto grass or park furniture, it will cause damage. All litter and debris must be disposed of in the appropriate manner.” the spokesman continued.
The Scottish fire and rescue service (SFRS) reveal that firefighters have to attend incidents of barbecues getting out-of-hand and destroying property each year. One of the main causes of fire is the careless disposal of barbecues into bins – some of which already contain combustible materials.
The SFRS’s Assistant Chief Officer David McGown said, “It’s important to never leave a barbeque unattended, with children and pets kept away from the cooking area. We would also recommend that you avoid alcohol if you are in charge of a barbecue as it can affect your coordination and judgement.”
He also warned that when finished cooking, not to dispose of ashes until they are cold to the touch, as hot ashes can melt a plastic bin and can also cause a fire.
When asked of the importance of keeping parks tidy and safe after a BBQ, Mr Zeng said: “We didn’t have any accidents with the disposable BBQ last year, but of course, we are always very careful just in case. If we don’t protect out local parks, we won’t be able to enjoy the BBQ in the same place next time.”
Anne Mcbride from Glasgow said: “I think that if you use a park for a barbecue, it is good manners to respect the shared environment and leave the site clean and rubbish free. As well as being considerate of other people who don’t want to have the beauty of the place spoiled, it is also safer to ensure that all debris is removed in case of fire breaking out and damaging trees or grass, or creating danger for children or wildlife.”
Sometimes even the most experienced people make common mistakes when using a disposable BBQ. Click here to find out the 10 most common BBQ blunders.