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Food Safety Week
Monday 19th to Sunday 25th June 2017

Food basket

Safe Summer Eating and National Picnic Week

This year's Food Standards Agency's Food Safety Week focuses on safe summer eating and it is also National Picnic Week.

Good food hygiene can help prevent most forms of food-borne disease.

There are an estimated one million cases of food poisoning every year, with E-Coli, Listeria and Salmonella more prevalent in the warmer months. Our latest 'Food & You' research indicates there are people who are putting themselves at risk with poor food safety behaviours:

  • 48% reported that 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 that they eat burgers when pink or when there are red/pink juices

During this week, please follow our daily Facebook and Twitter posts for keeping food safe when picnicking, as well as on safe barbecuing.

Here are some key points on chilling/defrosting and cooking foods...

Chilling/defrosting:

Fridge

  • Storing your food 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 5°C
  • Cool cooked foods quickly at room temperature so that they can be stored in the fridge within 1 to 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, using a microwave on the defrost setting directly before cooking

Cooking:

Cooker

  • Cooking food at the right temperature and for the correct length of time will ensure that 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.

For further information, please refer to the Food Standards Agency's definitive guides below:

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