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BBQ time: Protect against dangerous germ infections when grilling


Health-endangering germs: danger of gastrointestinal infections with crickets
For most Germans, socializing with barbecuing is part of summer. Unfortunately, it often starts shortly after eating: stomach rumbling, malaise, stomach cramps. Gastrointestinal infection may be the cause of the discomfort. But you can protect yourself from that.

Number of Campylobacter infections increased significantly
According to health experts, the number of Campylobacter infections has increased significantly in recent years. In this country they occur more often in the warm season. This also has to do with the barbecue season. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), more than 70,000 cases of Campylobacter disease were reported in Germany in 2014, especially children under five and younger adults between 20 and 29 are often affected.

Campylobacteriosis usually manifests itself as severe diarrhea with fever and lower abdominal cramps that heals itself after a few days, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) writes on its website. However, in rare cases, complications from Campylobacteriosis can include Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disease of the nervous system.

Germs not recognizable by the smell
To protect yourself from this, you need to know how to become infected. “The transmission to humans takes place primarily through contaminated food, whereby even very small amounts of germs can trigger an infection. Since Campylobacter does not spoil the food, you cannot tell whether it occurs by the appearance or the smell of the goods, ”write the experts. The pathogens are mainly found in raw or inadequately heated food derived from animals, especially in poultry meat, in chicken eggs, in raw milk and in raw meat products such as minced meat (Mett).

Campylobacter infections can include symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, diarrhea and abdominal pain. In immunocompromised patients, a chronic course threatens and in the worst case the infection can reach life-threatening proportions. A food infection can be particularly dangerous for older people.

Hygiene matters
In order to avoid intestinal infections, kitchen hygiene is of particular importance in summer. Avoiding cross-contamination in the kitchen is an important precaution against Campylobacter infections. Basically, washing hands is the most important hygiene rule to protect yourself against infectious diseases. When cutting raw meat or poultry, other boards and knives should always be used than for preparing the salad or cooked food. Work surfaces, boards and knives should be cleaned thoroughly after use. It is best to use a kitchen roll to wipe dry and then throw it away. Used kitchen towels should be changed regularly and washed at a minimum of 60 degrees.

Always heat meat sufficiently
When roasting and grilling, it is important that the meat is always cooked through sufficiently, because this is the only way the pathogens die. According to the BfR, a temperature of 70 degrees must be reached in the core of the meat for at least two minutes. "The freezing of food reduces the number of Campylobacter, but does not kill it enough," write the experts. Marinade and condensation should never come into contact with other foods. The meat is best placed on a separate plate. Food should also be stored in the refrigerator in closed containers or completely covered. Last but not least, the waste container must be emptied and cleaned regularly. (ad)

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