THOUSANDS of Scots are unwittingly putting their families at risk of food poisoning this summer.
Washing raw chicken before cooking it on a barbecue can help spread the Campylobacter bug – which causes abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea, vomiting and can even kill.
But a new study by Food Standards Scotland (FSS) revealed that more than one in four adults (26%) believe washing raw chicken before it is cooked is the best way to ensure it is safe.
Nearly one in five of Scots also admit to not washing their hands after touching uncooked meat and only just over two in five wash their barbecue every time they use it.
And 16% of people who cook meat on a barbecue use the same utensils for raw and cooked meat without washing them in between.
FSS says the key steps to safe barbecuing are Cleaning, Cooking, Chilling and avoiding Cross-contamination.
Celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli said: “I fully support Food Standards Scotland reminding people to pay attention to food safety.
“Everyone loves barbecues as they’re a fun way of eating healthily with friends and family but if meat is not cooked thoroughly and food hygiene practices aren’t followed, it can lead to horrible and unwelcome illness.”
Food borne illness causes around 43,000 infections, 5,800 GP visits and 500 hospital admissions across Scotland every year.