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Safe summer eating

Released on: 16 June 2017

There are an estimated one million cases of food poisoning every year, with E-Coli, Listeria and Salmonella more prevalent in the warmer months. To mark Food Safety Week 19-25 June, The Food Safety Agency is reminding people that better standards of food safety and hygiene could help reduce the number of food poisoning cases.

Recent research found:

·         48% reported they never check their fridge temperature.

·         37% said they did not know what the fridge temperature should be.

·         58% thought the method for defrosting meat or fish was leaving it at room temperature.

·         19% admitted they eat burgers when pink or when there are red/pink juices.

Good food hygiene, when carrying out the 4C’s, namely chilling, cooking, cleaning and avoiding cross-contamination, can help prevent most forms of food borne disease.

Follow these tips and have a safe and happy summer.

When chilling and defrosting

  • Storing your food and keeping it properly chilled is one of the best ways to ensure it will be safe to eat.
  • Make sure your fridge is set to the right temperature – the coldest part should be below 5C.
  • Cool cooked foods quickly at room temperature so that they can be stored in the fridge within 1-2 hours. Store raw foods separately from cooked foods, covered on the bottom shelf of your fridge.
  • Do not defrost raw meat or raw meat products at room temperature (as this will increase your chance of getting food poisoning). Ideally food should be defrosted fully in the fridge or if this is not possible, use a microwave on the defrost setting directly before cooking.

When cooking

  • Cooking food at the right temperature and for the correct length of time will ensure any harmful bacteria are killed.
  • Check that food is steaming hot throughout before you eat it, especially meats like poultry, pork and minced products, which need to be cooked thoroughly before eating.
  • Burgers prepared at home should always be cooked all the way through until steaming hot. They should not be served rare or pink because harmful bacteria may be present in the middle of the burger, causing food poisoning.

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