Council chiefs get their teeth into food campaign

Messenger Newspapers: Council chiefs get their teeth into food campaign Council chiefs get their teeth into food campaign

Trafford Council supports this year's Food Safety Week (16-22 June 2014) Do you remember the London 2012 opening ceremony and the Olympic stadium filled to bursting point with spectators? Or can you picture here in Trafford a capacity Old Trafford crowd? Now try to envisage those huge crowds multiplied by three.

That's nearly a quarter of a million people. Now imagine the same number of people, not enjoying a football match, but being struck down by the UKs most common cause of food poisoning, campylobacter. You can't see it, smell it or even taste it on food, but if it affects you, you won't forget it. At its worst it can kill you.

Across Greater Manchester so far this year there have been 757 reported cases, with 31 in Trafford.

This is why Trafford Council is supporting this year's national Food Safety Week (16-22 June), which will focus on the fight against campylobacter. It will be encouraging people to make sure they handle and prepare chicken carefully, including not washing raw chicken and making sure they cook it properly and safely. This is vital as about four in five cases of campylobacter poisoning come from contaminated poultry.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is spearheading a campaign to bring together the whole food chain to tackle the problem. Farmers and producers will be asked to work harder to reduce the amount of bacteria on raw poultry. Consumers will be able to see the latest data and be the judges of any progress, or lack of it.

During the week Trafford environmental health officers will be visiting food businesses to offer advice and will be distributing leaflets and posters to both butchers and other food outlets visited by the public. Further advice is available at www.food.gov.uk/chicken.

Cllr John Reilly, Executive Member for Environment and Operations, said: "Trafford Council is committed to keeping local residents safe. Making sure people know how to handle and cook food safely for themselves, their families and guests is an important part of this agenda. Through our involvement in this national campaign, we can help spread the word, not the germs, and play our part in making sure they don't fall foul of campylobacter."

Head of Foodborne Disease Strategy at the Food Standards Agency, Bob Martin said: "This is a serious problem and we are calling on the whole industry to act together to tackle campylobacter. People in Trafford can do their part by handling and preparing chicken with extra care - don't wash raw chicken, cook it properly and enjoy it safely."

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