Summer Barbeque Tips for Hosts and Guests

Fire up the grill, fill up the kiddie pool, and put your apron on, because it’s barbeque season! Whether you’re celebrating Fourth of July or the end of a long work week, cooking and eating a meal outdoors is one of the best parts of the summer season. There are a few things to keep in mind when hosting or attending a barbeque where children or adults with food allergies will be attending.


If you’re hosting:

  • Provide labels or markers to write names on cups to prevent mix-ups.
  • Ask your guests ahead of time how you can best help them have a safe and enjoyable time.
  • If there will be allergens present, be sure to clearly label those dishes.
  • Clean your grill thoroughly and provide foil to wrap food to help prevent cross contact.
  • Barbeque sauce is a typical unexpected source of many allergens. If you are cooking for a guest with food allergies, you could try making this recipe that is free of the top eight allergens.
  • Wipe down tables, chairs, toys, and cooking surfaces to remove traces of food.
  • If children with food allergies will be attending the cookout, talk to all children about not sharing food before the get-together starts.

If you’re a guest:

  • Clearly label water bottles or cups with everyone’s names; teach children which ones are theirs.
  • Double-check the product labels on insect sprays and sunscreens; some contain food allergens.
  • Speak to the host ahead of time about your allergies, or bring a packed meal with safe foods just in case.
  • Keep epinephrine auto-injectors at room temperature, out of direct sunlight and extreme heat (do not refrigerate or store in the car). If necessary, you can store epinephrine in a cooler.
  • Keep tabs on how many alcoholic beverages you drink, as alcohol consumption may lower your ability to recognize an allergic reaction, give medications, and summon help.
  • Be the first to serve out of a bowl. This will reduce the risk of contaminated utensils being used.
  • When in doubt, eat a quick meal before you go. The fun in going to a cookout is really in enjoying your friends and the summer season!

For more tips on how to safely prepare food and eliminate cross-contact risks, click here.