National Food Safety Week takes place from June 16th to 22nd this year and is an annual event held to promote the importance of good food hygiene in the home. Approximately 5.5 million people are affected by food poisoning each year and of that number, 1.3 million believe they contracted it at home.
Food poisoning can be caused by a number of factors, including not cooking food thoroughly, cross contamination and unclean food preparation areas. Most food poisoning occurs when people don’t realise what they’re doing could be a health safety issue.
How safety conscious are you in the kitchen? We’ve put together some tips on what to watch out for in your kitchen when preparing food.
- Cross contamination – This is important to prevent bacteria from spreading between foods from contaminated surfaces or utensils. Never use the same chopping board for raw meat and ready-to-eat foods such as fruit and veg, without washing both the board and knife thoroughly first.
- Don’t reheat rice – A fairly obvious and well reported cause of food poisoning, yet many would still take a chance and reheat their leftover take-away the next day.
- Don’t wash raw chicken – The big tip from the Food Safety Agency this year is not to wash raw chicken before cooking. Rinsing chicken can add additional moisture which encourages bacteria to grow. On top of that, unless you quickly and effectively clean your sink area, cross contamination can occur.
- Keep your BBQ clean – Charred food particles stuck in grills and racks can become a breeding ground for bacteria, so keeping ovens and BBQs clean will ensure a safe cooking environment and will help your food taste better too.
- Make sure your cleaning utensils actually clean – Cloths and scrubbing brushes are one of the biggest harbours for germs in the kitchen and it’s important that they are washed regularly and thoroughly. If you can, keep cloths for washing up and cloths for wiping down surfaces separate to avoid spreading any bacteria. Change them frequently and if you want to be extra vigilant, use kitchen roll to wipe down surfaces after meat has been prepared on them.
Food hygiene in the home is particularly important during the summer months, when levels of food poisoning soar. In fact there are around 120,000 extra cases of illness recorded across the UK when the weather is warmest. To keep your oven and BBQ looking and cooking at their best, give us a call now on 0800 840 7127!