Hart District Council’s Environmental Health team are encouraging residents to think about food safety as the heatwave across the UK is set to continue for the next few weeks.
Cases of food poisoning almost double during the summer, and research shows that the undercooking of raw meat on barbecues and the contamination of bacteria onto the food we eat are among the main reasons.
If you want your barbecue to be remembered for the right reasons, follow the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) advice on beating the barbecue bugs. For more on barbecue safety and on using barbecues, go to www.hart.gov.uk/food-safety. Find out more about the FSA’s top tips at www.food.gov.uk/lovebbq.
Council Officers and the FSA also continue to work behind the scenes, to make sure you can trust the food on your plates. In Hart there are 3 Food Safety Officers who work hard to make sure your food is safe, by inspecting premises for food hygiene. In the last year the team has:
Carried out 342 routine food hygiene inspections
Revisited 54 premises to secure compliance with the law
Responded to 160 formal notifications of food poisoning
If you are wondering which local restaurants to eat at this summer, you can find more information about food hygiene ratings on the FSA website http://ratings.food.gov.uk/.
Cllr Sara Kinnell, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services at Hart District Council, said: “Cooking food to the right temperature and for the correct length of time is key to ensuring your food is safe to eat. When enjoying your barbecue, always ensure your burgers are thoroughly cooked and steaming hot all the way through as rare burgers may contain harmful bacteria that could make you very ill. Remember, even the very best quality meat carries bacteria.”
For general information on cooking food safely, safe storage and other useful hints and tips, please visit www.hart.gov.uk/food-safety.