All parents have been there – someone hasn’t sterilised the bottles, there is no made up formula in the fridge, and it is 3 am and your baby is waking the whole household and probably the street as well! You are half asleep, desperate to go back to sleep but need to get it sorted. Quickly. But above all safely because babies are more susceptible to disease.
There is currently a Listeria outbreak in Europe and the UK, and it is thought that it may be associated with people using frozen vegetables without cooking them first. Listeria bacteria can cause very nasty symptoms including miscarriage and death, so it is very important that everyone is aware of the risks.
I know it is incredibly trendy to eat food off anything other than a “boring” plate, but really, do you want a mouthful of someone else’s meal mixed with their saliva with your dinner? Or maybe the dirty washing up water has softened up the food debris which then got stuck in the cracks of a broken board. That’s what I got when I had my pizza on this board!
With the 5p bag tax, bags for life are becoming a norm, and it’s great news for the environment. But one problem is that we could be putting our food into dirty bags, not just visibly dirty, but bags with dangerous bacteria on the inside.Read more
I guess the first thing about reducing food waste is not to buy so much – plan ahead, see what you already have and don’t shop when hungry. Using a list can help, and on-line shopping can be a godsend for many reasons, but one is that you can check your cupboards as you shop. However, with all the will in the world, you may be faced with a load of food in the fridge that is making you feel guilty! Here are some simple tips to save waste.
Is it Safe to Eat Food Past its Best-Before or Use-by Date?
Recently there has been quite a bit in the news about whether it is safe to eat food that has gone past its best-before or use-by date, and even more worrying, food being retrieved from skips and bins to eat. So what are the risks and more importantly, what can you do to save money with food without putting yourself or your family at risk?
Campylobacter is still at large – so be prepared in BBQ season
Summer is here (well in theory) and the BBQs come out, but in the light of the recent findings that Campylobacter is still likely to be present in over 70% of raw chicken, what can we do to ensure that we are not serving up a dose of food poisoning to friends and family?
First of all, let’s think about how you can infect someone – bear in mind that Campylobacter is infectious in very small doses:
If you contaminate your hands with raw chicken, and then make up a wrap with cooked chicken, you could be passing the organism on in the ready-to-eat food. Your friends may not realise it was you that did it – they may not be ill for a couple of days, and it is possible that one slip up only affected one person, so no-one would associate the BBQ with their illness.
By putting raw chicken on a platter, cooking it and then putting it back on the original platter – you have caused classic cross-contamination – everyone could be ill!
When chicken isn’t cooked all the way through – for example cooked too much on the outside and underdone in the middle – this is a recipe for disaster as bacteria could survive!
Using the same utensils to put the raw chicken on the BBQ as to taking the cooked chicken off could give you more cross-contamination.
The 5 Second Rule: should you eat food if it drops on the floor?
Recent research by has hit the press this week, reported as concluding that bacteria may not transfer quickly to some foods when dropped on the floor, and therefore the 5 second rule may apply. I carried out an experiment and put some special powder on the floor to simulate bacteria, and then dropped some bread on the floor and picked it up immediately. The bread looked fine in daylight (see the left of the image), but under the UV light showed up all the powder that had transferred (right of image) – showing what can be picked up if you drop food on the floor!