Don’t wash raw chicken!
The message of this year‟s Food Safety Week is „don‟t wash raw chicken‟ and Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) are working to spread the word to local consumers.
The Food Standards Agency is spearheading a campaign to tackle the problem of food bug campylobacter, which is often spread through washing chicken and is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK.
Cllr Lucy Hodgson, chair of WRS, said: “Food safety inspectors check that food businesses prepare and cook chicken safely but consumers also need to be aware of the risks and the best way to avoid getting ill. You can‟t see campylobacter, smell it or even taste it on food, but if you get it you won‟t forget it. At its worst, it can kill.”
“One of the main ways to get and spread campylobacter food poisoning is through touching raw chicken – in particular, washing raw chicken can spread campylobacter by splashing it onto work surfaces, clothing and cooking equipment. If everyone works together we can eliminate the risks.”
The Environmental Health Team is urging all residents to get behind the campaign and stop washing chicken at home. Here are some top tips to make sure your food is safe to eat:
Chill food properly
Cooking chicken thoroughly
What is campylobacter?
Campylobacter poisoning usually develops a few days after consuming contaminated food and leads to symptoms that include abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea and, sometimes, vomiting. It can last for between 2 and 10 days and can be particularly severe in small children and the elderly. In some cases (very rare), it can spark off irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), reactive arthritis and in rare cases, Guillain-Barré syndrome – a serious and sometimes permanent condition of the nervous system. Campylobacter causes an unacceptably high public health burden, and the main responsibility for addressing this rests with the food industry.
For more information call the Press Office direct on 01527 881296.