Carmarthenshire environmental health officers are urging residents to take care with how they store food in the fridge.

They are emphasising the importance as part of Food Safety Week which runs from next Monday June 19 until Sunday June 25.

There are an estimated one million cases of food poisoning nationally every year with people putting themselves at risk with poor food safety behaviour.

A recent survey showed that 48 per cent of people never check their fridge temperature, 37 per cent said they did not know what is a safe fridge temperature, 58 per cent thought the safe method of defrosting meat or fish was leaving it at room temperature, and 19 per cent admitted that they have eaten burgers when pink or when juices are red/pink.

Key Messages

• Make sure your fridge is set to the right temperature – the coldest part should be below 5C.
• Cool cooked foods quickly at room temperature so that they can be stored in the fridge within 1-2 hours.
• Store raw foods separately from cooked foods, covered on the bottom shelf of your fridge.

• Cooking food at the right temperature and for the correct length of time will ensure that any harmful bacteria are killed.Check that food is steaming hot throughout before you eat it.
• Burgers prepared at home should always be cooked all the way through. They should not be served rare or pink.

Do you know the difference between use by and best before? Best before is a quality issue and covers foods such as canned and dried good – crisps and biscuits. Use by food must be consumed by this date as it includes high protein foods such as cooked meats and dairy products which support the growth of food poisoning bacteria over time.

Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for public protection Cllr Philip Hughes said: “The recent survey shows that an alarming number of people are unaware of the basic rules of food hygiene.

“I would urge everyone to take on board the advice being given during Food Safety Week to ensure that they both store and cook their food safely.”

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