Food Safety Week highlights the dangers of raw chicken
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During Food Safety Week (16 to 22 June) the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is encouraging South Gloucestershire residents to be aware of the dangers of campylobacter food poisoning.
The council is lending its support to the national campaign which highlights the dangers of campylobacter food poisoning and provides a focus for promoting good food hygiene, which can help to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, with up to a quarter of a million people in the country affected by it each year. Around four in five cases of campylobacter poisoning in the UK come from contaminated poultry and one of the main ways to get and spread it is through cross-contamination. Only a few bacteria in a piece of undercooked poultry, or bacteria transferred from raw poultry onto other ready-to-eat foods, can cause illness.
The best advice is to cover and chill raw chicken, don’t wash it (as splashing will help it spread), wash your utensils, chopping board and surfaces, and always cook chicken thoroughly to kill any bacteria present.
As part of the campaign we are providing information to retailers in South Gloucestershire who sell raw chicken and posters and leaflets to all of the district’s libraries and GP and health centres. The highest risk of severe symptoms caused by campylobacter poisoning is to the under-fives and older people, so resources have also gone out to those groups via local Sure Start centres and friendship clubs.
Diane Foster, Environmental Health Officer at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “It’s important that we do our part to make sure that people know to handle and cook food safely for themselves and for their families. We’re proud to be keeping people in South Gloucestershire safe and well by being part of this campaign to spread the word – and not the germs.”
Bob Martin, Head of Foodborne Disease Strategy at the Food Standards Agency said: “This is a serious problem and we are calling on the whole industry to act together to tackle Campylobacter. People in South Gloucestershire can do their part by handling and preparing chicken with extra care – don’t wash raw chicken, cook it properly and enjoy it safely.”
For more information see www.food.gov.uk/actnow
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