Council workshop after food safety warning

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Thousands of people in our region are putting their health at risk when cooking at home, a survey has suggested.

More than four in five respondents in the East Midlands admitted to one or more habits deemed to put them at risk of food poisoning – including 30 per cent admitting they would eat food which has been dropped on the floor and 21 per cent not washing their hands properly before preparing food.

The survey was commissioned for the start of Food Safety Week, during which the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is aiming to encourage people in the East Midlands to think about food hygiene at home.

As part of Food Safety Week, Kettering Council has organised a free workshop and drop in session on Thursday, June 13. The Health Protection team will be at the Woodcroft Scout Centre in London Road with a series of presentations providing information to home caterers, beginning at 11am, and a drop in centre for childminders from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Karen Albery, Kettering Council Health Protection Officer, said: “We have seen a rise in people catering from home. To offer support to these small local businesses we have provided this free workshop which will give proprietors up-to-date information and help them to continue to serve safe, hygienic and good quality food.”

Cllr Mark Dearing, portfolio holder for environment, said: “Food Safety is vitally important and the workshop and drop-in sessions provide a great opportunity to work with local home caterers to promote food safety messages.”

Bob Martin, food safety expert at the FSA, said: “By not washing their hands before preparing food at home, or ignoring “use by” dates, people in the East Midlands could be setting themselves and their friends or family up for a bout of really unpleasant illness.
To book a space at Kettering Council’s event, contact Karen Albery on 01536 534213 or email karenalbery@kettering.gov.uk.

East Midlands results:

Public putting their health at risk when cooking at home: 81 per cent

People admitting to eating food dropped on the floor: 30 per cent

Not washing their hands properly before food preparation: 21 per cent

Don’t check ‘use by’ date to tell if food is not safe to eat: 38 per cent

Of those who don’t check ‘use by’ date, safety of food determined by ‘sniff test’: 84 per cent

Of those who don’t check ‘use by’ date, safety of food determined by colour: 65 per cent

Most frequent risk to food safety (would eat food after ‘use by’): 43 per cent

Those confident in getting food hygiene right all/most of the time: 87 per cent

People believe they’ve never given family/friend food poisoning: 93 per cent

People who consider cleanliness of their own kitchen after illness: 6 per cent

Wash chopping boards between preparing raw and ready to eat food: 98 per cent

Leftovers only kept up to recommended 48 hours: 80 per cent