The Simple Tip To Avoid BBQ Sauce Cross-Contamination This Summer

With school vacations, the Fourth of July, and your annual pool party just around the corner, you may be starting to pull out your trusty picnic tables and prepping your outdoor grills for the summer season. Whether you're regularly the host for weekend BBQs or you're preparing to throw your first, there are a few urgent matters to keep in mind. While all of your attention may be going toward picking a date that fits your invitees' schedules or making a menu that suits everyone's needs, it's easy to overlook one big health risk while enjoying the party atmosphere: cross-contamination. From sticking the wrong meat thermometer into a ready-to-eat bird to not washing your hands before grabbing the spice jar, there are quite a few cross-contamination risks to look out for, including in your bowl of BBQ sauce.

For all the grill masters out there, you know that whether you're making baby-back ribs or preparing a pork tenderloin, coating the meat in BBQ sauce is a great step to ensure flavor-packed results. But, when you're glazing your not-yet-cooked-through meat in the BBQ sauce, it's important not to put the same brush out on the table for serving. By absent-mindedly dipping the contaminated brush into a serving bowl of BBQ sauce or leaving it on the table for guests to use on their own portions, you're setting up your event to be memorable for the wrong reasons.

Make sure you purchase two brushes

According to the Center for Disease and Control (CDC), Salmonella and E. Coli are both foodborne germs that can be easily contracted through raw meat. However, consuming undercooked or raw meat itself is not the only way to contract food poisoning. Cross-contamination is a serious risk, and it can be easily overlooked if you're not careful. When it comes to making sure the BBQ sauce on your table is free from risk, there is a simple solution. 

One way to avoid this cross-contamination is to simply purchase two BBQ brushes and two sets of bowls for sauce. One brush and bowl pair can be used for the food prep and one can be placed on the table for serving. This is an easy way to ensure that no bacteria is getting into the wrong dish.

But, even if you do make sure to buy two brushes and separate them, it may not be enough. Make sure each brush and bowl is recognizable. If they're identical, they could be mistakenly swapped and someone could end up putting more than just sauce onto their plates. Having a chosen color and style for food prep and another for serving is the safest way to go. By keeping this in mind, along with other food safety tips, you'll be able to throw together a great event for your loved ones that will keep people talking — about the good things — for the rest of the year.