Christmas is a time for being merry, for giving and sharing, and, for many, eating lots and lots of food. If you’re responsible for cooking Christmas dinner this year, whether for family and friends or preparing food to be bought or eaten by the public, knowing the risks of food poisoning may make all the difference to someone’s festive season.
In May 2015, for Food Safety Week, we began to blog about the risk of campylobacter food poisoning from contaminated commercial chicken. Research by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) revealed 73 per cent were contaminated with campylobacter.
Despite the FSA’s campaign to reduce the number of cases of campylobacter food poisoning, 42,147 people have suffered campylobacter poisoning in the first 35 weeks of 2015, revealing an increase of 1,064 cases in the same period of 2014, according to Public Health England.
Since, we have seen UK supermarkets work to lower the risk of the raw chicken they sell. Leading supermarkets, including Asda, have been using a process called SonoStream to clean the poultry, along with new leak-proof packaging, as well as deciding 50% of their chicken will be sold in “roast in the bag” packaging, which means consumers will not need to handle the raw poultry until it is thoroughly cooked, reducing the spread of campylobacter.
Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. It spreads undercooked chicken, and via bacteria that is transferred from raw chicken onto other ready-to-eat foods. Salmonella poisoning is the second biggest cause of food poisoning with 4,096 cases in the first 35 weeks of 2015.
In Charge of Christmas Cooking this Year?
So, now you have the facts, what can you do to ensure your Christmas dinner isn’t the cause of a food poisoning compensation claim?
To protect yourself, the FSA advise the following:
- cover and chill raw poultry, 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 poultry thoroughly. You can check you’ve cooked chicken properly by ensuring there is no pink meat in the centre.
Whatever you’re planning to have this Christmas, we hope you enjoy it and see in the new year in good health.
Slater and Gordon No Win, No Fee Solicitors have won 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 us on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online to start your claim.