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Council encourages residents to be safe with food during the summer months

Council encourages residents to be safe with food during the summer months

Fri, June 23, 2017

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is encouraging residents to think about food safety throughout the summer months.

New research indicates that people in Northern Ireland could be putting themselves at risk of food poisoning through a lack of knowledge of the 4 C’s of food hygiene: Chilling, Cooking, Cleaning and Cross-contamination.

The Food Standards Agency’s Food and You survey which collects and collates information on food safety found that:

  • 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 respondents defrost meat or fish by leaving it at room temperature, putting themselves at higher risk of food poisoning as germs multiply more quickly at room temperature. Only 30% following FSA recommendation to defrost meat and fish in the fridge.
  • Approximately half of respondents (49%) 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.
  • There are still a high proportion of people eating meat that is pink or has pink/red juices, against recommended practice
  •  A quarter (25%) of people said that they do not always check ‘best before’ dates before cooking or preparing food.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Joan Baird, OBE, said: “These figures prove that people in Northern Ireland need to be more aware of food safety guidelines, ensuring they keep both themselves and their families safe from poisoning. This is why Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is working with the Food Standards Agency to raise awareness and promote good hygiene practices during Food Safety Week.”

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