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Eat safe this summer

Published, 19/06/2017

Flintshire County Council is working with the Food Standards Agency to raise awareness of eating safely this summer during Food Safety Week, 19-25 June.

We all love it when the weather gets warmer. But did you know that you might need to think harder about food safety in the summer months? New research indicates that people in Flintshire 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.
Many harmful bacteria grow in warmer conditions, turning our food into a potential health hazard. It is important to keep any perishable foods in the fridge or in a cool box until you are ready to eat them. Harmful bacteria can find their way on to cooked meats and salads if raw meat touches them or the same utensils are used. Keeping raw meats away from cooked food, washing your hands after touching raw meat and using separate utensils will prevent cross contamination.
In warmer weather, spending a few extra minutes making sure food is well prepared and thoroughly cooked could avoid days of stomach upset misery.
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 Wales:

· Fewer than half of people defrosted meat and fish in the fridge or microwave in line with guidelines (43%). Although most people did not defrost meat or fish appropriately, a higher proportion of people in Wales defrosted food in line with guidelines than the rest of the country.
· A third (35%) of people washed raw chicken. Washing chicken risks spreading bacteria and should be avoided.
· One in ten people (9%) at least sometimes eat chicken or turkey even when the meat is pink or has pink or red juices.
· Only half (50%) of people checked their fridge temperature, and even fewer (42%) knew that their fridge should be kept between 0°C and 5°C.
· A quarter (25%) did not use different chopping boards for different foods, which risks spreading bacteria.

Flintshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Protection, Councillor Chris Bithell, said:

"These figures show that there's more that people in Flintshire could do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe this summer. That's why Flintshire County Council is working with the Food Standards Agency to promote good hygiene practices during Food Safety Week. 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


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