Campylobacter – Practical tips for improved food hygiene at home

Raw Chicken

Food hygiene isn't just for restaurants and caterers; it's an important component in at home cooking. Being mindful of basic food hygiene in your home kitchen will minimise the risk of spreading campylobacter, a natural bacteria that causes around 280,000 cases of food poisoning per year in the UK.

In an effort to reduce the spread of campylobacter, the hospitality industry is sharing food hygiene tips to implement in every day cooking at home. To support industry efforts in food hygiene, the BHA is in the process of creating a new guide to commercial level food hygiene compliance and best practice.

In support of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and their “Acting on Campylobacter Together” campaign, we have tasked our industry experts to give customers a few tips on improving food hygiene in the home.

 

The skinny on campylobacter

Campylobacter, the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, is often found on the skin of raw chicken.

An estimated 280,000 people in the UK fall ill from campylobacter every year.

Symptoms of campylobacter food poisoning range from severe abdominal pain and stomach upset for approximately 2 to 5 days and can lead to longer-lasting health issues.

Simple changes in the way you handle raw chicken at home can go a long way to reduce the spread of campylobacter.

 

Stopping fowl play

Spreading campylobacter is as easy as touching raw chicken with your hand or a utensil, and using the same to touch other food or surfaces without washing up between actions.

 

Washing hands, surfaces and tools that come in to contact with raw poultry is a must.

Commercial quality food hygiene may not be achievable in all home kitchens, but here are a few practical tips from our food experts to bring a bit of hospitality hygiene into the home and reduce the risk of food poisoning from campylobacter.

Chicken VectorStore raw chicken separately from other food.

Ensure it is fully wrapped and enclosed when stored.

Chicken VectorCover and chill raw chicken at the bottom of the fridge.

This avoids liquids from the raw poultry dripping onto other foods.

Chicken VectorDon’t wash raw chicken.

Water splash can spread campylobacter bacteria up to a meter away and onto work surfaces, clothing and cooking equipment.

Chicken VectorWash Up.

Wash hands and equipment with soap and hot water after touching raw chicken.

Chicken VectorCheck it’s properly cooked.

Ensure chicken has no pink or red colour before serving. Juices should run clear.

 

BHA egging on accessible food hygiene for all

As well as working alongside FSA food campaigns, and sharing our know-how with customers and new businesses, the BHA is currently developing a comprehensive guide to food hygiene for out of home dining. As an industry, we want to make high quality and practical food hygiene expertise accessible to all businesses.

The BHA’s Food Hygiene Guide is currently in development and expected to be published for public consultation on the FSA website later this year. The Guide will be a practical, comprehensive and accessible document to compliance requirements and best practice based on practical understanding of running a commercial kitchen.

 

Point of ContactACT

To support these efforts, please contact policy@bha.org.uk

*This information is provided by the British Hospitality Association. The content is provided for general information only and must not be used for giving legal or other professional advice. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of content, the authors accept no responsibility for loss or consequential loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any statement in it.

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