As part of Food Safety Week, the Food Standards Agency has published some advice on its website. We suggested that you should consider buying some gleaming, spanking new kitchen furniture to help to combat the dreaded E.coli threats. But if you can’t run to that at the moment, here are some food safety facts extracted from the quiz, that you might find useful.
Fact: If food has a bad smell or taste, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s gone off. These signs aren’t usually caused by the germs that give you food poisoning. But do stick to the ‘use by’ date and storage instructions on the package.
Fact: Eating food after the ‘best before’ date isn’t a problem. These dates are about quality, not safety. If it’s past the date, the food might simply have started to lose its colour, flavour or texture.
Fact: Plastic chopping boards are not more hygienic than wooden ones. Whether they are plastic, wooden, glass or marble, they all need cleaning properly after every use. It’s best to use separate chopping boards for raw and ready-to-eat foods.
Fact: You don’t need to wash raw chicken before you cook it. Although it may have some germs on it, washing won’t get rid of them. Thorough cooking is the only way to get rid of these nasty germs.
Fact: Rare steak is okay to eat, providing the outside is brown. Germs won’t be on the inside, so as long as the outside is fully cooked, any germs will be killed. But things like poultry, pork, burgers and sausages must be cooked all the way through.
Fact: Food poisoning is more than just an upset stomach. Most is mild but, rarely, it can be far more serious, even deadly. Avoid food poisoning by remembering the simple ‘four Cs’ for good food hygiene: cleaning, cooking, chilling and cross-contamination.