Eat safe this summer

20 June 2017

It’s Food Safety Week and Cheshire West and Chester Council is urging residents to think harder about food safety in the summer months. 

New research indicates that people in the north west could be putting themselves and their families at risk of food poisoning through lack of knowledge of the 4Cs of food hygiene: Chilling, Cooking, Cleaning and avoiding Cross-contamination. 

The Food Standards Agency’s ‘Food and You’ Survey, which collects information on food safety through 3,118 interviews across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, found that in the north west: 
  • 49 per cent said they did not know what the fridge temperature should be, suggesting that many people’s fridges may not be between the recommended 0 and 5°C.
  • 60 per cent thought the correct method for defrosting meat or fish was leaving it at room temperature, putting themselves at higher risk of food poisoning as germs multiply more quickly at room temperature.  The recommended methods for defrosting meat or fish are either in the microwave, or in the fridge.
  • A third (34 per cent) of people in the north west do not always check use-by dates before cooking or preparing food. 
  • However, people in the north west are less likely than those in the rest of the country to eat burgers with pink meat.  71 per cent said they never eat burgers if the meat is still pink, compared to 58 per cent in the rest of the country.  Burgers should be cooked all the way through to avoid food poisoning.
  • 43 per cent wash raw chicken which risks spreading bacteria and should be avoided. 
  • It was also found that respondents do not always wash their hands before starting to prepare food, despite the FSA’s recommendation that people wash their hands thoroughly before cooking and after touching the bin, going to the toilet, handling pets or handling raw food.
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore said: “These figures show that there's more that people in the north west could do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe this summer. That's why Cheshire West and Chester Council is working with the Food Standards Agency to promote good hygiene practices during Food Safety Week (19 to 25 June).  This year the week aims to encourage better hygiene practices for summer, when the risk of getting food poisoning goes up.” For tips on how to stay safe this summer visit: 

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