Check food habits this Safety Week

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Bassetlaw Council and the Food Standards Agency are urging people to carry out a ‘Kitchen Check’ as part of Food Safety Week.

A new survey has exposed a number of kitchen horrors that may be lurking in your own home - prompting residents to carry out a new Kitchen Check as part of the initiative, which runs until 16th June.

The survey revealed that 81 per cent of people could be putting their health at the risk of food poisoning when cooking at home, such as eating food dropped on the floor and not washing their hands properly.

The survey also revealed that 38 per cent people in Bassetlaw don’t check ‘use by’ dates, with 84 per cent of them wrongly using the ‘sniff test’ and 65 per cent 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 43 per cent of those questioned said they would eat food after its ‘use by’ date – the most frequent food safety gamble admitted.

Julie Leigh, portfolio holder for environmental health said: “No one wants to start the summer with a nasty bout of food poisoning, and when it does happen, this survey shows that most people don’t consider their own habits as a possible cause”

Bob Martin, food safety expert at the Food Standards Agency, added: “By not washing their hands before preparing food at home, or ignoring ‘use by’ dates, people in Bassetlaw could be setting themselves and their friends or family up for a bout of really unpleasant illness.”

The Kitchen Check, which is available online at www.food.gov.uk/kitchen-check, gets people to look at their own food preparation practices and will give them a score and tips based on their answers.