Practical tips for improved food hygiene at home

Food hygiene isn’t just for restaurants and caterers; it’s an important component in at home cooking. Being mindful of basic food hygiene in your home kitchen will minimise the risk of spreading campylobacter, a natural bacteria that causes around 280,000 cases of food poisoning per year in the UK.

In an effort to reduce the spread of campylobacter, the hospitality industry is sharing food hygiene tips to implement in every day cooking at home.

Here are a few tips on improving food hygiene in the home:

What is campylobacter?

Campylobacter, the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, is often found on the skin of raw chicken.

An estimated 280,000 people in the UK fall ill from campylobacter every year.

Symptoms of campylobacter food poisoning range from severe abdominal pain and stomach upset for approximately 2 to 5 days and can lead to longer-lasting health issues.

Simple changes in the way you handle raw chicken at home can go a long way to reduce the spread of campylobacter.

How to reduce the risk of food poisoning from campylobacter

Spreading campylobacter is as easy as touching raw chicken with your hand or a utensil, and using the same to touch other food or surfaces without washing up between actions.

Washing hands, surfaces and tools that come in to contact with raw poultry is a must.

Commercial quality food hygiene may not be achievable in all home kitchens, but here are a few practical tips from our food experts to bring a bit of hospitality hygiene into the home and reduce the risk of food poisoning from campylobacter.

  • Store raw chicken separately from other food. Ensure it is fully wrapped and enclosed when stored.
  • Cover and chill raw chicken at the bottom of the fridge. This avoids liquids from the raw poultry dripping onto other foods.
  • Don’t wash raw chicken. Water splash can spread campylobacter bacteria up to a meter away and onto work surfaces, clothing and cooking equipment.
  • Wash Up. Wash hands and equipment with soap and hot water after touching raw chicken.
  • Check it’s properly cooked. Ensure chicken has no pink or red colour before serving. Juices should run clear.

For further information on tips to improve food hygience 

The British Hospitality Association are currently developing a Food Hygiene Guide that is expected to be published for public consultation on the FSA website later this year. The Guide will be a practical, comprehensive and accessible document to compliance requirements and best practice based on practical understanding of running a commercial kitchen.

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