Shoppers warned to wash hands after handling packaged chicken (Picture: Getty)
#AceFoodNews – Sept.24: A lot of people don’t realise they’re in danger of catching deadly bacteria from the outside of supermarket chicken packaging, a new report says.
Almost three quarters (70%) of Brits did not know exteriors could contain the killer bug Campylobacter, according to a study from antibacterial technology firm Biomaster.
Despite the bacteria being present in almost three-quarters of all supermarket chicken sold, half of us also thought it was safe to pack a tray of chicken in a mixed shopping bag, the research added.
And the same amount didn’t wash their hands after handling the packaging, which was recommended to prevent contamination.
The Food Standard Agency (FSA) confirmed in May 7% of chicken containers had tested positive for the bacteria after running a 12 month testing programme.
The study involved the leading supermarkets and a sample of butchers.
‘The aim of our new survey is to keep the pressure on retailers to work with processors to bring campylobacter levels down by introducing controls suitable for whatever their production processes,’ said a FSA spokesman.
‘We will continue to sample organic and free-range chickens.’
FSA advice to protect against campylobacter
- Cover and chill raw chicken: Cover raw chicken and store on the bottom shelf of the fridge so juices cannot drip on to other foods and contaminate them with food poisoning bacteria such as campylobacter.
- Don’t wash raw chicken: Cooking will kill any bacteria present, including campylobacter, while washing chicken can spread germs by splashing.
- Wash hands and used utensils: Thoroughly wash and clean all utensils, chopping boards and surfaces used to prepare raw chicken. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, after handling raw chicken. This helps stop the spread of campylobacter by avoiding cross contamination.
- Cook chicken thoroughly: Make sure chicken is steaming hot all the way through before serving. Cut in to the thickest part of the meat and check that it is steaming hot with no pink meat and that the juices run clear.
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