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With just under 200 infectious disease notifications potentially related to food poisoning in Cherwell during 2016/17, residents are being urged to consider the four Cs for food hygiene: chilling, cooking, cleaning and cross-contamination.
Nationally there are an estimated one million cases of food poisoning each year and Cherwell District Council is backing the Food Standards Agency’s Safe Summer Eating Campaign to help reduce those numbers.
The launch of the campaign on Monday, 19 June coincides with the start of Food Safety Week.
“Data indicates that nearly 60 per cent of cooks are defrosting meat and fish on the kitchen counter at room temperature.
“Bacteria can multiply quite happily at room temperature and the advice is to allow food to defrost in the fridge, and if you’re in a rush, microwave it on the defrost setting immediately before cooking.”
Research also shows 48 per cent of people never check the temperature of their fridge and 37 per cent said they did not know what temperature it should be.
Storing food at the correct temperature is one of the best ways to keep it safe and the coolest part of a fridge should be below five degrees centigrade.
Nearly one fifth of people (19 per cent) said they eat burgers when pink in the middle. However the more processed food is, the greater chance there is of contamination, and burgers prepared at home should be cooked all the way through.
Never wash or rinse poultry or meat under the tap as this could splash bacteria around the kitchen and increase the chances of cross contamination.
Raw food should also be stored separately from cooked food, preferably covered on the bottom shelf of the fridge.
For more advice on food safety visit https://www.food.gov.uk
Cherwell runs a number of taught and online training courses for people who would like to improve their understanding of food safety. For more information visit http://www.cherwell.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=11038.
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