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"Don't wash your chicken" is the advice from Basildon Council’s environmental health team. The advice comes as part of a national campaign during Food Safety Week.

The fight against Campylobacter will be at the centre of this year’s Food Safety Week which runs from Monday 16 to Sunday 22 June.  Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. It can’t be seen, smelt or even tasted on food, but can cause fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.

A number of tips will be shared about what residents can do to protect themselves and their family from this nasty illness in their own homes, particularly when handling chicken.

Research by the Food Standards Agency in 2012 indicates that more than a third of consumers always wash raw poultry (including chicken and turkey).

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Rachel Glover, Basildon Council environmental health manager"]Our advice is that only proper cooking will get rid of germs on poultry. Washing it first will only heighten the risk of germs (including campylobacter) splashing on to the sink, dishes or worktop. Also it’s important to ensure hands and surfaces are thoroughly cleaned after preparing raw chicken; keeping raw chicken away from ready to eat foods and not adding sauce or marinade from raw chicken to cooked food.[/quote]

Free fridge thermometers will be available from the Basildon Centre reception during the week, so you can also check you are storing your chicken at the right temperature.

Further advice can be found at www.food.gov.uk

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