Food Safety Campaigns

Each year the Food Standards Agency has a campaign which raises awareness of food hygiene and safety concerns.  Details of the annual campaigns are detailed here.

2017 theme - Safe Summer Eating

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 South West England 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.

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 South West England:

  • 46% of respondents 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.
  • 49% thought the correct method for defrosting meat or fish was leaving it at room temperature, putting themselves at higher risk of food poisoning as germs multiply more quickly at room temperature.
  • A fifth (22%) 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.
  • The South West was the region where people were least likely to wash raw chicken (61% never do this). Washing chicken risks spreading bacteria and should be avoided.
  • 66% of respondents were more likely than those in other regions to eat red meat with pink or red juices

Councillor Val Keitch, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health at South Somerset District Council said, "These figures show that there's more that people in South West England could do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe this summer. That's why South Somerset District Council is working with the Food Standards Agency promoting 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.


 2016 theme - Food Waste Reduction

In the UK we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten. Wasting this food costs the average household £470 a year. If we all stopped wasting food the benefit to the planet would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 4 cars off the road.

There are two main reasons why we throw away good food: we buy or make too much or we don't use it in time.

Research tells us that people can be confused about the difference between 'Use By' and Best Before' dates, that they don't always know what can be safely cooked or frozen, and that some people are taking risks with their health and that of their loved ones to make food go further.

So this year Food Safety Week (Monday 4 to Sunday 10 July) will focus on ways in which we can all waste less food - safely.

Visit the Food Standards Agency website use by to be part of the Eat it, Cook it, Freeze it! campaign     


 2015 theme - 'The Chicken Challenge'

Visit the Food Standards Agency website Chicken Challenge to be part of the 'Chicken Challenge'

2014 theme - 'Don't Wash Raw Chicken'

The key messages for Food Safety Week 2014 are:

Don't Wash Raw Chicken

Washing raw chicken can spread campylobacter.

Splashing can spread campylobacter on to other surfaces, other food, your skin, your clothing and equipment which can lead to serious illness. Thorough cooking kills campylobacter.

Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK

What is campylobacter? Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK.

Campylobacter poisoning usually develops a few days after consuming contaminated food and leads to symptoms that include abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea and, sometimes, vomiting.

Campylobacter infections can last up to 10 days, although the typical symptoms last between 2 and 5 days. Campylobacter infection can be particularly severe in small children and adults over 60.

Supporting messages based on the 4Cs

Our supporting messages for consumers to help keep themselves and their family safe from food poisoning are:

Chilling

Make sure the fridge temperature is running below 50C.

Don't overfill your fridge. This allows air to circulate and maintains the set temperature.

Store raw poultry at the bottom of the fridge and properly wrap or cover it to avoid raw juices contaminating other foods.

Avoiding Cross Contamination

Cross contamination occurs when harmful germs such as campylobacter are spread between food, surfaces and equipment.

 Help to prevent this by removing clutter that you don't need and washing worktops before and after food preparation.

Cleaning

Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before preparing and after handling raw food such as chicken.

Thoroughly wash and clean all utensils, chopping boards and surfaces used to prepare raw chicken.

Always use a chopping board. Wash the board and other utensils in hot, soapy water when you've finished using them and in between preparing raw foods such as chicken and ready-to-eat food. Consider using separate chopping boards for raw and ready-to-eat food.

Wash or change dish cloths, tea towels and sponges regularly and let them dry before you use them again. Dirty, damp cloths are the perfect place for bacteria to breed.

Cooking chicken thoroughly

Cook chicken thoroughly until it is steaming hot in the middle. This will kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.

Useful leaflets:

 

For further information please contact the Food Safety Team