Eat safe this summer

Hamburgers on Barbeque Grill

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 the North West 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 the North West:

  • People in the North West are less likely than those in the rest of the country to eat burgers with pink meat.
  • 71% of North West residents said they never eat burgers if the meat is still pink; in the rest of the country only 58% said they never eat burgers with pink meat.
  • 42% of respondents said that they never check their fridge temperature and 49% 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.
  • More than half of respondents 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.
  • 40% of people in the North West defrosted frozen meat or fish according to FSA guidelines, either in the microwave (5%) or in the fridge (35%).
  • 43% sometimes wash raw chicken. Washing chicken risks spreading bacteria and should be avoided.
  • A third (34%) of people in the North West do not always check use-by dates before cooking or preparing food.

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