National Food Safety Week is an annual event held to promote the importance of good food hygiene in the home.
Approximately five and a half million people are affected by food poisoning each year and of that number, over a million believe they contracted it at home.
And with news that 73% of fresh shop-bought chicken tested positive for the food poisoning bug campylobacter by the Food Standards Agency, it’s never been more important to be proactive in the kitchen about food hygiene.
While ‘campylobacter’ may not necessarily spring to mind (or roll off the tongue!) when you think of food poisoning, it actually causes more cases in the UK than E.coli, listeria and salmonella put together. So with that in mind, here are some practical steps to keep the bugs at bay.
Ensure your fridge temperature is running at 5°C or below.
Don’t overfill your fridge. Allow air to circulate, which helps maintain the set temperature.
Store raw poultry at the bottom of the fridge and properly wrap or cover to avoid raw juices contaminating other foods.
Cross contamination occurs when harmful germs such as campylobacter are spread between food, surfaces and equipment.
Remove kitchen clutter and give worktops a thorough wash before and after food preparation.
Don't wash raw chicken! Cooking will kill any bacteria present, while washing chicken can easily spread germs.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water before preparing, and after handling, raw meats.
Always use a chopping board. Wash the board and other utensils in hot, soapy water when you’ve finished using them, and consider using separate chopping boards for raw and ready-to-eat food like vegetables.
Cook chicken thoroughly until it is steaming hot in the middle.
This will kill anyharmful bacteria that may be present, including campylobacter.
A clean oven contributes to thorough cooking by helping heat distribute more effectively and helping maintain a constant temperature.
Be sure to keep your oven clean, looking and cooking its best. Give us a call on 0800 840 7127 for a quick oven cleaning quote.
Food Standards Agency’s Kitchen Check