Food Safety Week 2017 (19-25 June)

The Guide to Safe Summer Food

Summer is the perfect chance to enjoy picnics and barbecues with family and friends. Here you can find some advice to help ensure you don’t become unwell when enjoying eating outdoors.

Many people assume food poisoning comes from restaurants, cafes and fast food outlets, but it’s also possible to get ill from food prepared at home. The risk of getting food poisoning from Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella and some E. coli rises over the summer months.

Food Poisoning can be very unpleasant, even for a fit and healthy person. For children, people already in ill-health and older people, food poisoning can have serious, and sometimes even deadly, consequences. It’s important to protect your loved ones from foodborne illness this summer by handling food safely when eating outdoors. The 4Cs of food hygiene: Chilling, Cooking, Cleaning and avoiding Cross-Contamination can help prevent most forms of foodborne disease.

The UK has an estimated 1,000,000 cases of food poisoning every year.

Read on for summer food safety advice from the Food Standards Agency for barbecues and picnics. It’s the little things you do that can help to stop you and your family becoming unwell.

Essential Tips for the Fair Weather Griller
Barbeques are fun, food poisoning isn’t. Follow the FSA’s top tips to stop food poisoning in its tracks:
1. Pre cook
2. Charred on the outside doesn’t always mean cooked on the inside
3. Remember, disposable barbeques take longer to heat up and cook food
4. Avoid cross contamination by storing raw meat separately before cooking
5. Keep plates and cutlery away from raw meats and fish
6. Keep cold foods below 5oC and hot foods above 63oC

Problem Free Picknicking
When taking food outdoors it’s easy to let your usual practices slip. The time between preparing dishes and eating them tends to be longer than normal, as food is packed up in the morning and often not eaten until early afternoon. In fact 1 in 10 people often leave picnic food out for over 2 hours in the summer. The FSA advises that food should be left out for no longer than 2 hours, whether in the picnic season or at any time of year. After this time, foods can become unsafe so plan ahead to keep your food cool until you’re ready to eat.

Follow the FSA’s five top tips to keep food safe when out and about this summer:

1. Clean up first
2. Keep cold food cold
3. Organise your cool box
4. Keep your cool box closed
5. Pack away your picnic

For additional tips on how to have safe summer food visit the Food Standards Agency Website: Safe Summer Food in Eight Easy Steps

For more information about Safe Summer Food please visit: https://www.food.gov.uk/science/microbiology/your-definitive-guide-to-safe-summer-food