Han­dle with care in hot weather

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - UPDATE -

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.

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