People working in eateries and workplace kitchens are being advised to refrain from washing raw chicken before cooking with it.
Its experts say water used to wash chicken can pick up campylobacter microbes and the bacteria can easily spread around kitchens via drops of water.
The microbe is the cause behind most food poisoning cases and affects 280,000 people very year. As many as 80% of these problems are traced back to chicken.
The typical symptoms are tummy aches, vomiting and diarrhoea but the bacteria can cause other more serious complaints.
All cooks should stop washing chicken immediately, the FSA says as the water and the bacteria can easily get onto people’s hands, cooking equipment, surfaces and clothes – anything that gets splashed.
Call for better hygiene standards
Catherine Brown, the chief executive of the FSA, said anyone who cooks with raw chicken should wash their hands afterwards and make sure it is cooked well all the way through, but many people wash the chicken first.
This needs to stop right away because of the risk of cross-contamination, she said.
She warned that campylobacter can result in serious illness and even death but it also causes the business world and health services hundreds of millions of pounds a year when people become ill.
The FCA is raising awareness of the microbe and telling people what they can do to stop the problems it causes.
It is working with farmers and chicken firms to ensure they adopt the best hygiene standards to reduce the risk of the bacteria being on or in chicken in the first place.
Get in touch with the expert solicitors at Accident Advice Helpline if you think you have been affected by a health and safety problem at work.
Date Published: June 17, 2014
Author: David Brown