nyama choma

How to avoid nyama choma food poisoning this Madaraka Day


Kenyans love nyama choma, that is an undisputable fact.

Whether you will be enjoying the national holiday at home doing a barbeque or at your local, read these tips carefully.

Here is the femail.co.uk healthy barbecue guide.

• Thaw any meat thoroughly before cooking it. This will make sure it cooks all the way through, killing harmful bacteria that could cause food poisoning.

• Light barbecues well in advance. Food should not be cooked over a high flame but over glowing coals with a powdery grey surface. This prevents the food from cooking too quickly on the outside but remaining raw in the middle – the perfect breeding ground for food poisoning bugs.

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• Cook all meats until they are piping hot and the juices run clear. If they are still pink, they need to be cooked for longer. Thick cuts of meat are a bad idea as they will take longer to cook.

• Only take out the right quantity of meat that will fit onto the barbecue. If you have too much meat crowded onto your barbecue it will not cook evenly, so you will run the risk of ending up with undercooked or raw patches that are susceptible to bacteria.

• Use a meat thermometer to make sure food is cooked properly. Burgers, sausages and chicken should reach an internal temperature of 158 degrees Fahrenheit for at least two minutes.

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• Never put cooked meat back onto a plate that has carried raw meat. This avoids cross contamination from bugs that could have been on the raw meat being transferred onto the cooked food.

• Never partially cook food on a barbecue and then finish cooking it later. Half-cooked food is a breeding ground for bacteria. However you can cook food in a conventional oven and then pop it onto the barbecue to give it that authentic flavour. Do this before it starts to cool down or cool it thoroughly before heating it up again.

• Make sure any re-heated food is piping hot before eating it. High temperatures destroy most bacteria.

• Eat any barbecued food as soon as possible. The longer it is standing around, the higher the risk of contamination.

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• Try to keep hot food hot and cold food cold – do not leave them standing around at room temperature as this is the perfect temperature for breeding bacteria.

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