Northampton Borough council is backing a campaign to cut down cases of food poisoning from chicken.
It is joining Food Safety Week’s 2015 campaign urging people to take the Chicken Challenge and halve cases of campylobacter food poisoning.
According to a recent Food Standards Agency (FSA) survey almost three quarters (73 per cent) of us eat chicken every week.
Yet the FSA also estimates that about 280,000 cases of food poisoning a year can be traced to campylobacter - a germ found mostly on raw chicken. You can’t see it, smell it or even taste it on food, but if it affects you, you won’t forget it.
Campylobacter food poisoning usually develops a few days after eating contaminated food and leads to symptoms that include abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea and, sometimes, vomiting. At its worst, campylobacter can kill or paralyse.
The FSA wants to cut the number of cases of campylobacter poisoning in half by the end of 2015, which could mean that over a hundred thousand fewer people would get sick next year.
FSA Director, Nina Purcell, said: “It’s clear that we all love chicken, we just need to take the time and be even more committed to ensuring we do the little things in the kitchen to keep our loved ones safe.”
A spokesperson for Northampton Borough Council said: “We are once again happy to support Food Safety Week because it highlights how by following a few simple food preparation steps we can protect ourselves and our families.”
Steps recommended by the FSA are:
Bag and store raw chicken separately from other food, covered and chilled on the bottom shelf of the fridge
Not to wash raw chicken as it splashes germs
Wash everything that has touched raw chicken in soap and hot water – your hands and utensils
Check chicken is cooked properly - no pink meat, steaming hot and the juices run clear
For more advice on handling poultry safely visit www.food.gov.uk/chicken. To find out more about the FSA’s chicken challenge visit www.food.gov.uk/chickenchallenge.