Don’t wash your chicken warns Mansfield District Council

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Mansfield District Council is sending out a message to residents across the District to stop rinsing their poultry with water before it is cooked.

The Environmental Health team is highlighting the fact that washing poultry prior to cooking actually increases the risk of causing food poisoning by spreading bacteria onto kitchen surfaces, clothing and utensils.

The advice is being issued as part of this year’s Food Safety Week (16th to 22nd June), when the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is seeking to raise awareness of campylobacter, the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK.

The FSA is spearheading a campaign to bring together the whole food chain to tackle the problem.

Farmers and producers will be asked to work harder to reduce the amount of bacteria on their raw poultry and consumers will be able to see the latest data on how much progress has been made.

Local authorities and all the major supermarkets will also be working together to make sure people know how to stay safe.

Coun Mick Barton, portfolio holder for public protection at Mansfield District Council, said: “This is a very serious problem and we want to make sure that people and businesses know how to handle and cook food safely for themselves, their families and their customers. About four in five cases of campylobacter poisoning in the UK come from contaminated poultry. You can’t see this bacteria, smell it or taste it on your food, but the results can be extremely harmful and sometimes fatal, particularly for the very old or very young.”

For more information visit www.food.gov.uk/chicken