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Council warns of summer time food poisoning risks

27 June 2017

Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Environmental Health Food Team are encouraging the public to be well informed about the risks of food poisoning over the summer months.

The Council, which is working in partnership with the Food Standard Agency, says that while we all love it when the weather gets warmer the message is that it also means we need to be more careful in terms of food safety.

According to the Food Standard’s Agency, new research indicates that people in Northern Ireland 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.

According to the research 44% of respondents in Northern Ireland said that they never check their fridge temperature and 44% 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. 56% of people defrost meat or fish at room temperature, putting themselves at higher risk of food poisoning as germs multiply more quickly at room temperature and almost half of respondents (49%) said they don’t use different chopping boards for different foods, increasing the risk of cross-contamination between raw and ready-to-eat foods and a quarter of people (25%) do not always check ‘best before’ dates before cooking or preparing food.
Seamus Donaghy, Head of Health and Community Wellbeing with Derry City and Strabane District Council said:“These figures show that there's more people in Northern Ireland could do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe this summer. That's why Derry City and Strabane District Council is working with the Food Standards Agency promote good hygiene practices during the summer period.  We aim to encourage better hygiene practices for summer, when the risk of getting food poisoning goes up.

“Handwashing is also very important.  People should wash their hands before starting to prepare food and cook food, after touching the bin, going to the toilet, handling pets or handling raw food,” he added.

For tips on how to stay safe this summer visit: https://www.food.gov.uk/safe-summer-food

The Council’s Environmental Health on 028 71253253 or by emailing [email protected]