In Northern Europe and regions of North America the short summers encourage people to organize as many garden parties or BBQs as practicable to entertain their friends and family, and to enjoy as much as possible sunshine, blue skies, breezes, and companionship.
Bear on mind that outdoor parties may increase the risk of food-borne illnesses.
A bacterium spread on hands, utensils, surfaces on which the food is cut becomes contaminated if improperly handled and stored.
Here are few points you may want to follow:
Always defrost food in refrigerator, or under cold running water, or in the microwave.
Clean cutting board well after cutting meat.
Avoid cross contamination.
Use separate cutting boards for vegetables and meat.
Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.
Wash cloth towels in hot water after each event
Use a clean platter for cooked meat
Wash tongs thoroughly
Make use of a food thermometer to ensure safety (cook beef, veal and lamb to an internal temperature of 71 C (160F); chicken wings and breast 74 C ( 165 F), and pork 71 C ( 160F)
Minimize the use of recipes containing raw eggs (potato salad -, dressings with mayonnaise).
Protect food from insects
Consider serving buffet style meals indoors
Present tomato and cucumber salads with olives and simple vinaigrette, grilled vegetables, corn on the cob, assorted breads, vegetable salad with olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar dressing, smoked fish, pasta salad, quinoa, marinated vegetables, and fresh fruits.
Steaks or sausages, or chicken, or veal chops, or lamb- or beef burgers can be cooked to order to prevent bacteria formation
During the summer months, local and imported fruits and vegetables abound. Use as many fresh fruits you can find on the market and afford.
Plums, blueberries, cherries, pears, raspberries, apricots, peaches, melons (cantaloupe, honeydew, Santa Claus, Crenshaw) are only some that come to mind. All are laden with minerals, phytochemicals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
As for beverages, go with light and quaffable wines (Beaujolais, Gamay, pinot noir, riesling, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio or pinot gris or grauburgunder, and roses).
Select two to three beers (lagers and ales), water, maybe one or two soft drinks. Stay away from spirits.
Needless to say, you need a lot of ice cubes.
Some food can be more risky because of processing
If you have a weakened immune system or cater to elderly and inform be aware of the following and refrain from serving:
E.coli 0157. listeria, vibrio and salmonella.
Deli meats, dairy products, hot dogs, pates and meat spreads, eggs and egg products, seafood, meat and poultry, fruit juice and cider, and sprouts.