In 2013, the UK hosted more than 125 million barbecues, and we were named Europe's leading barbecue nation, beating the Germans into second place.

However, as the number of barbecues go up, so do cases of food poisoning.

Barbecues may be fun but food poisoning certainly isn't - especially is your friends and family are struck down with dangerous bugs passed on through undercooked or badly handled food.

The main type of food poisoning that can be attributed to barbecues include campylobacter, E.coli, salmonella and listeria

  • Campylobacter: the most common food poisoning bug in the UK, and can be found on nearly 65% of chicken sold in our shops and supermarkets. It's passed on to humans in undercooked poultry, and can even lead to permanent disability. Most people recover, but not all.
  • Salmonella: another common food bug found on raw meat and undercooked poultry. It leads to fever, vomiting and stomach pains and it can make you ill for weeks.
  • E.coli: often passed on through raw and undercooked meats, can lead to bloody diarrhoea, stomach pains and vomiting.
  • Listeria: can turn up in pates ad salads. This bug is particularly dangerous for pregnant women as it can lead to miscarriage, but the most at risk from all the barbecue bugs are children and older people.

Research carried out by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) shows that 56% of men say they are the 'main cook' at a barbecue, compared to 21.4% of women.

You might imagine, then, that the problem of food poisoning at barbecues is a 'man thing', but the research also indicates that unhygienic barbecue behaviour is something that we can all improve on.

Almost one-in-five people (19%) do not keep raw and cooked foods on separate plates, increasing the risk of bacterial cross-contamination.

A total of 28% don't check that burgers and sausages are cooked all the way through before serving, and 32% don't check that chicken is cooked properly.

Six tips for holding a successful barbecue

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