RESIDENTS in South Tyneside are being warned not to count their chickens when its comes to their health - after scores of residents took ill from food poisioning in the past year
Over the last 12 months, more than 100 residents in the borough have been confirmed as suffering from Campylobacter - a germ mostly found on raw chicken.
Now the council is is encouraging people to join the Chicken Challenge and help to prevent food poisoning across the Borough as part of National Food Safety Week next week.
The council’s Environmental Health Team is offering advice, such as bagging and storing raw chicken separately from other food and checking the meat is cooked properly.
Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “National Food Safety Week is an ideal opportunity to highlight the importance of good food safety to businesses and residents and promoting some key food hygiene messages to help keep people safe and healthy.
“We live in a society of chicken eaters. It’s healthy and versatile and brings families together for a Sunday launch or sunny afternoons around the barbecue. Unfortunately, chicken which has not been properly prepared, stored or cooked can cause food poisoning.
“We’re helping people to learn how they can prevent the spread of germs and reduce the risk of falling poorly by encouraging them to take up the Chicken Challenge set by the Food Standards Agency in handling food. It’s really easy to do and will go a long way to helping to make South Tyneside a happier and healthier place to live.”
Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. It is not visible nor has a smell or taste, but its affect can be very unpleasant and, at its worst, fatal.
For more information, log onto www.food.gov.uk/chickenchallenge