In­creased risk of food poi­son­ing

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

A MEM­BER of West Wick­low Busi­ness Net­work has high­lighted the in­creased risk of food poi­son­ing cre­ated by the heat­wave.

Or­lagh Dee­gan, a mem­ber of the West Wick­low or­gan­i­sa­tion and Li­censed Food Safety Trainer with Food Safety Pro­fes­sion­als As­so­ci­a­tion, Na­tional Hy­giene Part­ner­ship and En­vi­ron­men­tal Health As­so­ci­a­tion has out­lined that there were 96 con­firmed cases in a 10 day pe­riod.

‘There is very lit­tle you can do to pre­vent be­com­ing ill after you have eaten con­tam­i­nated food, so tak­ing some sim­ple steps and plan­ning your bar­be­cue can save a very un­pleas­ant ill­ness. Ecoli is com­monly as­so­ci­ated with minced beef in un­der cooked burg­ers. Tem­per­a­ture con­trol is key to pre­vent bac­te­ria to mul­ti­ply­ing to un­safe lev­els,’ Or­lagh says.

She out­lined that not all cases arise as a re­sult of eat­ing out, and about half oc­cur due to food pre­pared at home.

‘Many peo­ple who get food poi­son­ing blame the last restau­rant they ate in but in re­al­ity about 50 per cent of cases hap­pen due to food pre­pared by in­di­vid­u­als. Or­lagh’s ad­vice is to plan ahead to avoid any un­pleas­ant ill­ness and en­joy your Al

Fresco din­ing dur­ing the heat wave.

Heed the ad­vice from

Met Eire­ann and the HSE and don’t put your­self at risk,’ she says.

The fol­low­ing tips will help to re­duce the risk of food poi­son­ing dur­ing the hot weather.

Keep cold food cold. Use a cooler box. If you don’t have ice-packs, frozen bot­tles of wa­ter are a handy sub­sti­tute. Keep the box closed to keep it cool; Seg­re­gate raw meat from other foods to avoid cross con­tam­i­na­tion and from other ready to eat foods; Un­washed hands are the num­ber one cause of cross-con­tam­i­na­tion. Be­fore pre­par­ing or cook­ing foods, thor­oughly wash your hands; Make sure meats are cooked thor­oughly un­til juices run clear. A kitchen ther­mome­ter is a handy and af­ford­able piece of equip­ment to en­sure meats are cooked prop­erly, ex­ceed­ing a core tem­per­a­ture of 75 de­grees is rec­om­mended; Make sure that any food left out for longer than two hours is dis­carded.

Or­lagh Dee­gan.

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