To mark the start of Food Safety Week, running from Monday 19 June to Sunday 25 June, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is encouraging residents to find out more about food hygiene, and so avoid putting themselves and their families at risk of food poisoning.
Research carried out by the Food Standards Agency indicates that people in the South East aren’t fully aware of the ‘4Cs’ of food hygiene: chilling, cooking, cleaning and avoiding cross-contamination.
The Food and You Survey found that in the South East:
• 45 per cent of respondents said that they never check their fridge temperature and 46 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.
• 45 per cent thought the correct method for defrosting meat or fish was leaving it at room temperature, despite recommendations to defrost meat or fish in the fridge or microwave.
• A quarter of respondents (24 per cent) said that they don’t use different chopping boards for different foods, which increases the risk of cross-contamination between raw and ready-to-eat foods. • 29 per cent admitted that they eat burgers that are pink or have pink juices, against recommended practice that they should be fully cooked before eating.
• 21 per cent always washed raw chicken, which is not recommended as it risks spreading bacteria.
The council’s Cabinet member for Regulatory Services and the Environment Cllr Hayley Eachus said: “These figures show that there’s more that people can do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe this summer. That’s why Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is working with the Food Standards Agency promote good hygiene practices during Food Safety Week (19 – 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: https://www.food.gov.uk/safe-summer-food