With the weather heating up and summer street parties set to get into full swing, a survey has revealed the risky behaviours Scots are guilty of that can lead to thousands of cases of food poisoning every year.
More than a quarter (28%) of people surveyed admitted to not always washing their hands before preparing or cooking food and over a third (36%) said they did not always store raw and ready-to-eat foods separately.
Food Standards Scotland (FSS) revealed the results of the survey and it estimated there are 43,000 cases of food poisoning, also known as foodborne illness, every year across the country.
Dr Jane Horne, head of food protection science and surveillance at FSS, said there are simple steps people can take to safely host events.
She said: “Regardless of whether you’re hosting or attending a street party or event this summer, it is important to keep food safety at the forefront of your mind to keep everyone safe. Thankfully, there is a lot we can do to protect ourselves and those around us.
“Our ‘Food Safety at Community Events’ guidance, which can be downloaded from the FSS website, includes several food safety tips to follow when hosting or preparing for an event – especially when catering for larger numbers.”
Guidance issued by FSS to help people planning or attending street parties this summer include: washing your hands regularly, not using food past its use-by date, planning ahead and keeping food cool until it is time to eat, and providing an allergens list for those attending events.
Dr Horne added: “It’s important to practise good food safety behaviours and following the four ‘Cs’ of food hygiene – cleaning, chilling, cooking and avoiding cross-contamination – will help you and your friends prepare, make and store food safely.”