Food Safety

Food Safety

The risk of food-borne illnesses increases during the summer when temperatures are warmer. People are more likely to be cooking outside at picnics, barbecues, and on camping trips. Festive periods also tend to increase the risk of food-borne illness as large quantities of food are generally prepared in advance. It is therefore important to follow safe food handling practices at all times to prevent food-borne illnesses.

Simple guidelines about food safety:

Remember the 4 Cs…

Clean

Your hands could be carrying thousands of germs that are invisible, and can easily spread onto food
before preparing food
after touching raw food, especially meat
after going to the toilet
Make sure you keep worktops, chopping boards and utensils clean.
Don’t forget to change dish cloths and tea towels regularly.

Cooking

Ensure food is cooked thoroughly to prevent them from germs such as salmonella and E. coli always check your food is piping hot in the middle – there should be steam coming out
don’t reheat food more than once
when reheating, take extra care your food is cooked all the way through
It’s especially important to make sure poultry, pork, burgers and sausages are cooked all the way through on the barbecue.

Chilling

Refrigerate correctly!
maintain the right temperature (about 5°C)
keep the fridge door closed as much as possible
wait for food to cool down before you put it in the fridge
if your fridge is full, it might need your help! Turn the temperature down to help it fight germs
eat leftovers within two days.
Keep food out of the fridge for the shortest time possible. And when you’re eating outside at a barbecue or picnic, use a cool bag or cool box.
If you’re putting out food for a party, try not to leave it out for more than two hours.

Cross-contamination

Germs mustn’t be allowed to spread around your kitchen and invade food that’s ready to eat! But here are a few simple things you can do to help stop it happening:
keep raw meat separate from ready-to-eat food
don’t let raw meat drip onto other food – keep it in sealed containers at the bottom of your fridge
never use the same chopping board for raw meat and ready-to-eat food without washing the board (and knife) thoroughly in between