A team of Uruguayan cooks claimed the sizzling record of world's largest roast, grilling 12,000 kilogrammes of beef at one site and bumping Mexico from the crown. ( dpa )
More than 1,250 cooks and 600 volunteers heated up the 1,500- square-metre grill on Sunday under open sky in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo.
The record, to be certified by the Guinness Book of Records, bolsters the South American country as a top exporter of beef.
"The largest roast in the world" was organized by the state National Meat Institute (INAC) on the open-air site that is often used for agro-industrial exhibitions.
Some 20,000 people bought tickets for the sold-out event, which featured several government officials.
Mexico has held the record since 2006, when 2,000 volunteers cooked 8,000 kilogrammes of beef on a 1,290-square-metre grill.
Such gargantuan grilling events can produce some side effects - like 60 cooks on Sunday who suffered respiratory problems and had to be treated by Red Cross personnel and 100 others who suffered minor cuts.
Some 30 firemen were on hand for safety's sake.
Beef is Uruguay's prime export, and its top destinations are the European Union and the United States. Grilled meat is one of the traditional meals in the South American country, and doing it right is considered an art.
Some 20 representatives of organizations devoted to the defence of animals protested peacefully outside the site of the barbecue. Dressed in black, they held banners with slogans like, "How many lives for a record?"