Protect your tummy and don’t wash raw chicken is the advice from Torbay Council this Food Safety Week.

Chicken can cause food poisoning and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) estimate that about 280,000 cases of food poisoning a year can be traced to Campylobacter - a germ found mostly on raw chicken.

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. Some individuals can have lasting effects for example irritable bowel syndrome, reactive arthritis and, in rare cases, Guillain-Barré syndrome – a serious condition of the nervous system.

Torbay Council's Assistant Director for Community and Customer Services, Frances Hughes, said: “Anybody who has ever had food poisoning will know how horrendous it can be. There are a few simple steps that we are encouraging all of our residents to take to avoid campylobacter in their homes: don’t wash raw chicken as it can splash germs onto other surfaces; bag and store raw chicken separately from other food, cover it and chill it on the bottom shelf of the fridge; wash everything that’s touched raw chicken in soap and hot water including your hands and utensils; and always, always check your chicken is cooked properly so it’s steaming hot, has no pink bits and all the juices run clear.”

The FSA wants to cut the number of cases of campylobacter poisoning in half by the end of 2015, which would prevent over a hundred thousand people getting sick next year. The FSA are asking the public to take the Chicken Challenge and to do at least one thing to help keep their tummies safe and healthy. To take the pledge and the chance to win some amazing prizes visit www.food.gov.uk/chickenchallenge

Members of Torbay Food Safety Team will be at Sainsburys, The Willows on Wednesday 20 May 2015 promoting the Food Safety Week message and answering any questions you may have.

 


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