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Raw chicken warning

Published Monday, 16 June 2014

Enfield Council is backing Food Safety Week 2014 and urging residents not to wash raw chicken before cooking – because it can do more harm than good.

Food Safety Week takes place from 16-22 June and this year the campaign aims to give people tips on how to prevent themselves and their family from food poisoning in their home – particularly when handling chicken.

The week will also supply information about the food bug campylobacter, the most common form of food poisoning in the United Kingdom which is mainly contracted from contaminated poultry.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Chris Bond, said: “There is absolutely no point washing raw chicken before its cooked and it actually does more harm than good because cooking chicken properly will kill all the germs present in the bird.
“Washing chicken could splash germs on to the sink, worktop, dishes or anything else nearby and contaminate them.
“Residents should be particularly careful to keep raw food away from ready-to-eat foods such as bread, salad and fruit. Because these foods aren't cooked before you eat them any germs that are spread on to them won't be killed and end up going straight down your throat.”
Research from the Food Standards Agency has found that many consumers say they wash raw poultry, with more than a third (38%) said that they always washed raw poultry and more than half (58%) saying they have washed poultry at least some of the time.

You can find out more at the Food Standards Agency website.

Other ways to avoid food poisoning include:

Make sure the fridge temperature is running below 5C   

Don’t overfill your fridge. This allows air to circulate and maintains the set temperatur
Store raw poultry at the bottom of the fridge and properly wrap or cover it to avoid raw juices contaminating other foods.

Avoiding Cross Contamination  
Cross contamination occurs when harmful germs such as campylobacter are spread between food, surfaces and equipment. Help to prevent this by removing clutter that you don’t need and washing worktops, surfaces and equipment before and after food preparation
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before preparing and after handling raw food such as chicken.
Thoroughly wash and clean all utensils, chopping boards and surfaces used to prepare raw chicken. Use an antibacterial spray to disinfect surfaces
Always use a chopping board. Wash the board and other utensils in hot, soapy water when you’ve finished using them and in between preparing raw foods such as chicken and ready-to-eat food. Consider using separate chopping boards for raw and ready-to-eat food.
Wash or change dish cloths, tea towels and sponges regularly and let them dry before you use them again. Dirty, damp cloths are the perfect place for bacteria to breed.
Cooking chicken thoroughly

Cook chicken thoroughly until it is steaming hot in the middle and the juices run clear. This will kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.



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