Barbecues can be one of the healthiest, and best tasting, ways to cook your food. However, not taking care when barbecuing your food and taking care of your barbecue in general can actually cause some health issues. This post will show you some of the health issues that can pop up while using barbecues and how to avoid them.
The first issue is obviously undercooked foods. Undercooked meats can carry bacteria, like Ecoli, and can cause serious health issues that could even be life threatening. That is why you have to make sure you cook your food thoroughly on the barbecue. If you like a little pink in your meat, I still recommend cooking your meat more than your normal until you get used to barbecuing and know that you can cook the meat enough to remove all bacteria. Food poisoning is a serious illness, so of course you want to avoid it.
The next thing you have to watch out for is bacteria on the dish that you use to transport the food. Many people will throw their raw burgers on a plate, cook them, and then throw them right back on the same plate, which can lead to bacteria getting on the food, like Ecoli and salmonella. You want to either use a new plate to transfer your cooked food or wash the dish you first used that the raw meat was on. Don’t think that undercooking your meat is the only way to get food poisoning!
Now that we are passed the common sense health issues, it is time to look at something that many people don’t know about barbecuing. Barbecuing your meat can lead to carcinogen production on the meat, which have been shown to cause cancer. There are two different forms of carcinogens formed when barbecuing: policy aromatic hydrocarbons and tetracycline amines. CPAs are formed when fat drops from the meat onto the heat source, causing smoke to rise up and attach to the meat. The Has are formed when creation and amino acids react within the meat when the meat is cooked at high temperatures for longer cooking periods. So, how can you try and avoid these carcinogens? Flipping the meat more will decrease the amount of fat that drops and in turn, reduce the amount of CPAs on the meat. You can avoid the creation of Has by cooking the meat at lower temperatures and use the microwave either before or after to reduce the cooking time on the barbecue.
Do you think there are more health risks associated with barbecuing? We would love to hear what you think with a comment below!