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 0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council,
Allerdale House,
Workington,
Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ

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Wash your hands – or put your health at risk

People in Allerdale are putting their health at risk when cooking at home, a new survey by the Food Standards Agency has shown. Now Environmental Health experts at Allerdale Borough Council are urging residents to complete a new online Kitchen Check to pick up tips on how they can protect themselves.

The survey found 82% of those asked in the North West admitted to one or more habits that put them at risk of food poisoning, including 23% admitting they would eat food that has been dropped on the floor and 22% not washing their hands properly before preparing food. These kitchen horrors have been exposed at the start of Food Safety Week, which runs from 10 - 16 June.

During the week, the Food Standards Agency wants to get people in Allerdale thinking about food hygiene at home, by completing the new Kitchen Check. The Kitchen Check gets people to look at their own food preparation practices and will give them a score and some tips based on their answers.

Councillor Phil Tibble, Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive Member for Customer Services, said: “Most people don’t believe the food they cook at home can make them ill, but meals prepared at home can be a source of food poisoning. Kitchen Check is a simple tool that helps you find out if your kitchen habits are putting you, or your family and friends, at risk of food poisoning.”

The survey also reveals that 34% of people in the North West don't check ‘use by’ dates, with 87% of them wrongly using the ‘sniff test’ and 62% just checking the colour – even though this will not always reveal whether food is safe to eat. Unlike ‘best before’ dates, ‘use by’ dates relate to safety and are

based on scientific testing, yet 39% of those questioned said they would eat food after its ‘use by’ date – the most frequent food safety gamble admitted.

Bob Martin, food safety expert at the Food Standards Agency, said: ‘By not washing their hands before preparing food at home, or ignoring ‘use by’ dates, people could be setting themselves and their friends or family up for a bout of really unpleasant illness. It’s encouraging though to see that the majority of people are concerned about food safety. We’ve created the Kitchen Check to help people to think about why they do in their own homes and make it easier for people to be knowledgeable and confident about storing and preparing food.’

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0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ