Winchester City Council highlights food safety

Press Release: 10/06/2008

A plate of food

As part of Food Safety Week, which runs until 13 June, Winchester City Council’s Commercial Team is highlighting a number of top tips to ensure food safety.

This year’s Food Safety Week theme is ‘Germ Watch’ and focuses on the awareness of the 4 Cs - Cleanliness, Cooking, Chilling and Cross-contamination

Launching the initiative, Councillor Frank Pearson, Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: “Simple everyday actions can help to avoid the possibility of food poisoning. This is as important in homes as it is in commercial food establishments. Food Safety Week provides us all with a good opportunity to review our methods in the kitchen and ensure that we are doing the right things to ensure we eat safe and healthy food."

By following the simple tips below, consumers can help reduce the risk of cross contamination and avoid food poisoning:


Right now, your hands could be carrying germs - thousands of them. They're invisible, and can easily spread onto food, making you and your loved ones ill. Keep yourself and your kitchen clean by washing and drying your hands thoroughly:

  • before preparing food
  • after touching raw food (especially meat)
  • after going to the toilet

Make sure you keep worktops, chopping boards and utensils clean. If they’ve been touched by raw meat, poultry or eggs, you'll need to wash them thoroughly. Don't forget to change dish cloths and tea towels regularly. They may look clean, but they offer a perfect place for germs to breed.


Germs such as salmonella and E. coli are waiting to strike at any time. However, they can be killed by thorough cooking.

  • always follow the instructions on the label
  • always check your food is piping hot in the middle
  • don't reheat food more than once
  • when reheating, take extra care to ensure that your food is cooked all the way through

It's especially important to make sure poultry, pork, burgers and sausages are cooked all the way through. If there's any pink meat - or if the juices have any pink or red in them - germs could be lurking. Some meat, such as steaks and joints of beef or lamb, can be served rare as long as the outside has been properly cooked.


Stop germs growing by keeping food cold. Make sure you put the right foods in the fridge - look out for a 'use by' date or 'keep refrigerated' on the label. Your fridge is a superb 'weapon' in the battle against germs, but it must be used effectively. Here are a few useful things to remember:

  • keep it at the right temperature (about 5°C)
  • keep the fridge door closed as much as possible
  • wait for food to cool down before you put it in the fridge
  • if your fridge is full, turn the temperature down to help fight germs

Keep food out of the fridge for the shortest time possible and when you're eating outside at a barbecue or picnic, use a cool bag or cool box. If you're putting out food for a party, try not to leave it out for more than two hours, otherwise germs might have a party of their own!


This is the final operation in the battle against germs. They mustn't be allowed to spread around your kitchen and contaminate food that's ready to eat. This is one of the major causes of food poisoning. Here are a few simple things you can do to help stop it happening:

  • keep raw meat separate from ready-to-eat food
  • don't let raw meat drip onto other food
  • store it in containers at the bottom of your fridge
  • never use the same chopping board for raw meat and ready-to-eat food without washing it

Don't wash meat before cooking it. Washing doesn't get rid of harmful germs – only proper cooking will. You also run the risk of splashing germs onto worktops and utensils.

Anyone who would like more information on this campaign and other food safety issues can contact the Commercial Team on 01962 848 186, or email