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Residents Warned about Chicken Food Safety

Published Thursday, 23 April 2015

Ribble Valley residents are being warned not to wing it when it comes to chicken food safety.

About 280,000 cases of food poisoning in the UK each year are traced back to campylobacter, a germ found mostly on raw chicken. 

Britain is a nation of chicken-eaters, with a recent Food Standards Agency survey revealing that 73 per cent of respondents ate chicken every week.

But the agency wants to cut the number of cases of campylobacter poisoning in half by the end of 2015 and Ribble Valley residents are invited to take part by joining the ‘chicken challenge’ during Food Safety Week from 18 to 24 May.

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s head of environmental health, James Russell, said: “Let's hear it for the humble chicken. We love it. It's healthy and versatile, brings us together around the table for Sunday lunch and around the barbecue on sunny afternoons. 

“But there's one thing we don't love about chicken, which is food poisoning. You can’t see campylobacter, smell or even taste it, but if it affects you won’t forget it. At its worst, it can kill or paralyse.” 

Residents are being asked to take the Chicken Challenge by:

Bagging and storing raw chicken separately from other food, covered and chilled on the bottom shelf of the fridge

Not washing raw chicken, as it splashes germs

Washing everything that’s touched raw chicken in soap and hot water – hands and utensils

Checking chicken is cooked properly – steaming hot, with no pink meat and clear juices

Keeping raw meat separate from other groceries when shopping and taking it home

James Russell added: “Campylobacter causes more cases of food poisoning in the UK than salmonella, E.coli and listeria combined, and symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, disability and even worse. 

“Pledging to take the Chicken Challenge and doing at least one thing to help keep our families safe and healthy will make a huge difference in helping to reduce food poisoning.”

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