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Food Safety Week: Beware of the Chicken

The 18th – 24th May marks Food Safety Week. This year there is a focus on campylobacter food poisoning awareness, which affected over 280,000 people in the UK last year. The FSA has also reported 100 UK deaths caused by campylobacter food poisoning.

This year’s Food Safety Week sees the Food Standards Agency (FSA) raising awareness for campylobacter food poisoning, which the FSA state a third of all Brits are at risk from, via contaminated poultry.

Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. It cannot be seen, smelled or tasted in food, but is most certainly there and has the potential to paralyse and kill.

Beware of the Chicken

Raw chicken poses as great risk of campylobacter poisoning, with one in five birds to be considered “extremely dangerous” as we have previously discussed. In March, Slater and Gordon Practice Group Leader, Tristan Hallam, blogged on the results of the FSA’s 12 month survey assessing the quality of store-bought fresh chickens in the UK. The report revealed that 73% were contaminated with campylobacter. Read the full blog here.

Just this morning, the Plymouth Herald reported that 362 people fell ill with campylobacter food poisoning last year in Plymouth. It is the FSA’s hope to halve the number of cases of campylobacter food poisoning this year.

FSA director Nina Purcell, stated, "This Food Safety Week, we’re taking that one step further by asking the public to take the ‘Chicken Challenge’ and pledge to take action to help protect themselves. At the moment, up to a third of us could fall ill with campylobacter at some point in our lives. We all have a responsibility to do what we can to reduce that figure."

What Should You Know About Campylobacter Food Poisoning?

Campylobacter food poisoning can develop days after eating contaminated food. Typical symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting. More severe cases include the development of the condition Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as well as Guillain-Barre syndrome, and as in the 100 cases reported by the FSA, campylobacter food poisoning can be fatal.

To protect yourself, the FSA advise you:

  • cover and chill raw chicken, storing it at the bottom of the fridge so that other foods cannot be affected by the juices.
  • don’t wash raw chicken, as this may spread germs whereas cooking will kill any present bacteria.
  • wash used utensils, to ensure the bacteria does not spread.
  • cook chicken thoroughly. You can check you’ve cooked chicken properly by ensuring there is no pink meat in the centre.

Restaurants and other establishments responsible for the distribution of food to the public are responsible for the cleanliness of their food and the facilities in which their food is prepared.

If you have been affected by food poisoning after eating in a restaurant, call Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyers today.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers have secured compensation for many people who suffered from food poisoning in the UK and abroad caused by Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, Hepatitis A virus and E. Coli.

For a free consultation call our No Win, No Fee Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9046 or alternatively contact us online to start your claim.

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