Handle with care in hot weather
FOOD poisoning can peak in the summer, but a few simple rules can reduce the risk, according to Safefood.
• Rinsing dishcloths under the tap does not remove germs. Food poisoning bacteria can survive and grow on dishcloths, particularly where food residues remain and when the cloth is damp. It’s best to change your dishcloth at least every other day.
• You may believe your work surface and cutting boards look clean so there is no bacteria on them. However, germs like campylobacter can last on kitchen surfaces for up to one hour and E coli can last for up to 24 hours.
• It’s always good practice to wash worktops and cutting boards with hot soapy water after preparing foods, especially after preparing raw meat, poultry, seafood or raw vegetables. Always clean as you go between preparing these foods and especially when handling raw foods and then handling ready-to-eat foods.
• Harmful bacteria such as E coli can last on your food packaging for up to 24 hours. These bacteria can be transferred quite easily from contaminated packaging to other kitchen surfaces and also lead to cross-contamination of hands and other kitchen surfaces such as worktops and press handles.
• If you use reusable shopping bags, you should keep one bag for raw meats only. Store your raw meat and poultry on the bottom shelf of your fridge.