Don’t be a tummy bug statistic this summer
|Author: Gavin Moore||Published: 15th June 2017 09:51|
After 142 infectious disease notifications potentially caused by food poisoning in the district during 2016/17, South Northamptonshire residents are being urged to consider the four Cs for food hygiene; chilling, cooking, cleaning and cross-contamination.
Nationally there are an estimated one million cases of food poisoning each year and South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) is backing the Food Standards Agency’s Safe Summer Eating Campaign to help reduce those numbers.
The launch of the campaign on Monday, 19 June coincides with the start of Food Safety Week.
Cllr Dermot Bambridge, SNC’s portfolio holder for environmental services said: “Research shows that 58 per cent of people defrost meat and fish by leaving it on the kitchen counter at room temperature.
“This gives bugs time to establish themselves and multiply. The advice is to allow food to defrost in the fridge, and if you don’t have time for that, zap it in the microwave on the defrost setting immediately before cooking.”
Research also shows that 48 per cent of people never check the temperature of their fridge and 37 per cent said they did not know what temperature it should be.
Storing food at the correct temperature is one of the best ways to keep food safe and the coolest part of a fridge should be below 5 degrees Celsius.
Nearly one fifth of people (19 per cent) said they eat burgers when pink in the middle. However, the more processed the food is, the greater chance there is of contamination, and burgers prepared at home should be cooked all the way through.
Never wash or rinse poultry or meat under the tap as this could splash bacteria around the kitchen and increase the chances of cross contamination.
Raw food should also be stored separately from cooked food, preferably covered on the bottom shelf of the fridge.
For more advice on food safety visit - https://www.food.gov.uk/.
If you would like to improve your understanding of food safety, SNC runs a number of training courses. For more information visit - http://www.southnorthants.gov.uk/food-hygiene-courses.htm.