Barbecue campaign launched to highlight campylobacter

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Food Standards Scotland has launched a summer barbecue food safety campaign to tackle campylobacter infection
Food Standards Scotland has launched a summer barbecue food safety campaign to tackle campylobacter infection

Related tags: Food poisoning, Food safety, Campylobacter

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has launched a summer barbecue food safety campaign to highlight the ongoing problem of campylobacter infection in meat.

To promote the campaign called ‘Nothing spoils summer like Pink Chicken’​ FSS has adopted a giant pink chicken mascot.

The initiative was launched in response to evidence that the increased number of barbecues, during June to August, coincided with peaks in campylobacter infection. It will encourage people in Scotland to check that their chicken is properly cooked.

The organisation was created in April 2015, and works with the Food Standards Agency on tackling campylobacter.

In May, FSS revealed that campylobacter continued to be the most common cause of foodborne illness in the UK, and its research showed that a significant proportion of Scottish campylobacter cases were associated with chicken.

6,000 reported cases

FSS highlighted that there were more than 6,000 reported campylobacter cases in Scotland each year.

FSS chief executive Geoff Ogle said: “Any warm spell always encourages us to get outdoors and enjoy a barbecue with family and friends.

“Evidence tells us that barbecues and increased purchase of chicken during the summer months coincide with a spike in reported food poisoning cases at this time of year.

“Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in Scotland, and it tends to be attributed to chicken. Food poisoning can be contracted through chicken that is not properly cooked, contact between raw meat and ready to eat foods, or poor hygiene.”

Handling raw food

He added that handling raw food also meant hands should be washed before touching foods such as salads. It was also important to make sure that perishable foods were kept chilled to ensure they are safe to eat.

“More than three-quarters of people in Scotland don’t worry about food poisoning.

“We want people to enjoy themselves, so when you’re getting together and having barbecues, it’s important to make sure that you’re not ruining summer for yourself and others by coming down with food poisoning, which is easily preventable.

“That’s why we’ve created the Pink Chicken campaign; to ensure we minimise the risks of a spoilt summer.”

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