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Food

Food must be safe to eat and prepared in a clean and hygienic manner.

The Council carries out a number of activities to ensure that food manufactured, prepared, processed, displayed and sold within Broxbourne is safe to eat:

 

Food Safety tips for Food Safety Week 2013Food Safety week

This year Food Safety Week was 10 -15 June 2013

Each year the Food Standards Agency organises Food Safety Week (FSW).

The interactive version of the Kitchen Check is available online.

 

Kitchen Check

Most people don’t believe the food they cook at home can make them ill, but meals prepared at home can be the source of food poisoning. Kitchen Check is a simple tool that helps you find out if your kitchen habits are putting you, or your family and friends, at risk of food poisoning. Kitchen Check helps you to go through each stage of the food preparation and cooking process to find out how well you are doing or whether there are things you can change to help protect you and those you care about from food poisoning.

 

Cleaning

  • Hands are one of the main ways germs are spread. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before preparing and handling food, cooking and after touching the bin, going to the toilet, handling pets or handling raw food.
  • Wash or change dish cloths, tea towels, sponges and oven gloves regularly and let them dry before you use them again. Dirty, damp cloths are the perfect place for bacteria to breed.

Avoiding Cross Contamination

  • Cross contamination occurs when harmful germs are spread between food, surfaces and equipment. Help to prevent this by removing clutter that you don’t need and washing worktops before and after food preparation.
  • 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 (meat, poultry, eggs, fish and raw vegetables) and ready-to-eat food. Better still, use a separate chopping board for each type of food.

 

Chilling

  • Make sure your fridge is set between 0 and 5°C, using a fridge thermometer to check. This is to prevent harmful germs from growing.
  • Don’t overfill your fridge. This allows air to circulate and maintains the set temperature.
  • Store raw meat and poultry at the bottom of the fridge and properly wrap or cover it to avoid raw juices contaminating other foods.

 

Cooking food thoroughly

  • Cook food thoroughly until it is steaming hot in the middle. This will kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.

 

Understanding ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates

  • ‘Use by’ dates are typically found on perishable products (dairy, meat and fish) and are based on scientific testing to determine how long these foods will stay safe. After that date, food could be unsafe to eat even if it is correctly stored and looks and smells fine.
  • ‘Best before’ dates are used on foods that have a longer shelf life and tell us how long the food will be at its best. After that date it may be safe to eat, but its flavour and texture might have deteriorated.
  • The exception to this rule is eggs which have a ‘best before’ rather than a ‘use by’ date. Providing the eggs are cooked thoroughly, they can be eaten a day or two after their ‘best before’ date but not longer than this.
  • Check the ‘use by’ dates on the food in your fridge on a regular basis and be sure to use (eat, cook or freeze) food before its ‘use by’ to help you avoid throwing food away unnecessarily.
  • Once food with a ‘use-by’ date has been opened, follow any storage instructions such as ‘eat within two days of opening’.

 

Test your knowledge and put paid to those old food myths with our quiz

 

For further information please look on the Food Standards Agency's website or the official Facebook page