Council’s food safety advice ahead of summer barbecues

Safety messages from the Food Standards Agency
Safety messages from the Food Standards Agency

Food safety experts will be at Brighton’s Jubilee Library during Food Safety Week (June 19 to 25) to give advice and information about safe barbecuing and picnics.

The Brighton and Hove City Council’s food safety team will also be giving out free fridge thermometers to help check whether food is being stored at the correct temperature.

As part of the awareness week, there will be displays of food safety information at Hove Town Hall customer services centre in Norton Road and Brighton Town Hall in Bartholomew Square.

Nationally there are an estimated one million cases of food poisoning every year, according to the council, with bugs like E Coli, Listeria and Salmonella more prevalent in the summer months.

Tips for effective chilling and thorough cooking to prevent problems include:

- Making sure your food is properly chilled is one of the best ways to ensure it will be safe to eat

- Make sure your fridge is set to the right temperature – the coldest part should be below 5C

- Cool cooked foods quickly at room temperature so that they can be stored in the fridge within one to two hours

- Store raw foods separately from cooked foods, covered on the bottom shelf of your fridge

- Do not defrost raw meat or raw meat products at room temperature. Ideally food should be defrosted fully in the fridge or if this is not possible, using a microwave on the defrost setting directly before cooking

- Cooking food at the right temperature and for the correct length of time will ensure that any harmful bacteria are killed

- Check that food is steaming hot throughout before you eat it, especially meats like poultry, pork and minced products, which need to be cooked thoroughly before eating

- Burgers prepared at home should always be cooked all the way through until steaming hot. They should not be served rare or pink because harmful bacteria may be present in the middle of the burger, causing food poisoning

For more advice, visit: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/foodsafety