Have you eaten something you shouldn't?

Have you eaten something you shouldn't?

We're putting our health at risk when cooking at home, according to a new survey.  

More than 80% of those asked admitted to one or more habits that put them at risk of food poisoning.

Not only this, but a third admitted they would eat food that has been dropped on the floor and a fifth said that they don't wash their hands properly before preparing food.

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."

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 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.

The survey also reveals that 1 in 3 people don't check ‘use by’ dates, with 85% of them instead wrongly using the ‘sniff test’ and 68% 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 more than 40% of those questioned said they would eat food after its ‘use by’ date – the most frequent food safety gamble admitted.

While admitting these risky kitchen habits, more than 80% said they are confident they get things right with food hygiene all or most of the time and 90% believe they’ve never given family or friends food poisoning. If they do fall ill themselves, only 5% consider whether the cleanliness of their own kitchen is the cause.

However, the survey also showed some encouraging examples - 95% said they wash chopping boards in between preparing raw and ready-to-eat food and almost 80% stick to the recommended 48 hours for keeping leftovers in the fridge.

For more information on safe eating in the home and to take the Kitchen Check visit:food.gov.uk/kitchen-check

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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