Government of Canada Encourages Safe Food Handling During BBQ Season

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reminds Canadians to take a few simple steps to keep healthy

With the return of barbecue season and Canada Day at our doorstep, don’t forget about food safety. Safe food handling practices are even more important when it’s hot outside to prevent harmful bacteria from spreading and causing foodborne illness such as E. coli.

Canadians can lower their risk of food poisoning by following these four steps:

  1. Clean: Wash your hands and anything else that comes in contact with food.
  2. Separate: Keep raw foods, such as meats, poultry, fish, shellfish and eggs, away from cooked and ready-to-eat foods.
  3. Cook: Cook foods to the right internal temperature using a digital food thermometer.
  4. Chill: Place perishable foods and leftovers in the fridge or freezer right away.

Food safety is a shared responsibility – while industry is responsible for producing safe food, and the government oversees the food supply chain, consumers must practice safe food handling.

Under the Healthy and Safe Food for Canadians Framework, the Government has committed to strengthening Canada’s already stringent food safety requirements to continue to reduce food safety risks and protect Canadians from unsafe products.

Quick Facts

  • Every year, more than four million Canadians get foodborne illnesses, commonly known as food poisoning, by eating foods that are contaminated.
  • Health Canada recently issued a Barbecue Food Safety Information Update, providing helpful tips on how to properly prepare and handle raw meat to prevent food poisoning.
  • A meat thermometer is the best way to ensure that the thickest part of a burger is properly cooked. Meat can turn brown before all bacteria are killed, so colour does not indicate a burger is safe to eat. Just remember – “71 and done”, as 71 degrees Celsius is an acceptable cooking temperature for burgers.


“As Canadians head outdoors to grill this summer, it is important that they know how to protect themselves against food poisoning caused by bacteria such as E. coli. Safe food handling practices will help Canadians and their families enjoy this barbecue season.”

~ Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health

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