• Clean the sides of the BBQ as much as the grill

    BBQ Season – an opportunity for Campylobacter?

    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.

     

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  • Dirty Pavements – Dog Poo and Spitting

    Health Risks From Dog Poo and Spitting

    Dog poo and spitting is disgusting but is it also a risk to health?

    Spitting

    Some councils have outlawed spitting and can levy fines of up to £5000 to perpetrators.

    So what are the health risks? Well once on the ground, the risk from spitting is limited because the transfer of infection is from inhalation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from someone carrying this illness coughing or spitting near you. When there are many carriers in the community, and people are in overcrowded conditions the risk increases.

    The cases in the UK are mostly attributed to people being infected abroad and travelling to the UK.

    It is a treatable disease, but worryingly there are strains which are multi-drug resistant. So whilst we don’t have a major health risk at the moment from spitting, perhaps it would be better not to be complacent and take measures to educate our children not to spit, and for local authorities to take action for what is, if nothing else, a fairly disgusting habit. For more information click here.

    Dog Poo

    Dog and cat faeces can carry a range of organisms one of which can lead to toxicariasis. This can lead to blindness and is of concern as it can be carried by unwormed dogs and cats and can be found in their faeces. So apart from the disgusting smell of dog poo, it can actually harm you as well. Councils need to make sure there are enough dog poo bins for dog walkers to dispose of faeces responsibly, and to empty them regularly enough – sometimes they are over-flowing in popular areas. There is a good factsheet from the NHS.

    Top tips for keeping safe:Dogs and Cats can carry diseases

    • Always make sure your and your child wash their hands when you come in from being outdoors
    • If you have to bring the buggy in check the wheels and if you touch them when folding the buggy up, remember your hands will be dirty so need washing
    • Take shoes off when you come into the house – particularly if you have children who are crawling
    • If you have to clean your shoes, use anti-bacterial wipes or sprays and paper towels and don’t use the kitchen sink or a re-usable cloth! Do it outside or in a bucket which you then disinfect afterwards
    • Take anti-bacterial wipes with you when out with your children in case they fall into dog poo or if you are going to give them something to eat on the go. Hand gel is also good when hands are visibly clean
    • Put lids on your sand pit to prevent cats using it as a litter tray
    • Teach children not to eat dirt or touch poo
    • Dog owners need to pick up poo, and use the bins – but also take care if they contaminated their hands – carry anti-bacterial wipes just in case
  • BBQ Hygiene in the garden

    Is your Garden Hygienic?

    Is your Garden Hygienic for Summer?

    Well summer is here isn’t it? Are we sturdy Brits going to pretend it’s nice and warm this weekend and get out in the garden? But before you do, have a quick think about what may be lurking on the BBQ and patio, chairs and tables and spend a few minutes making sure that it is safe for your family and friends. We are not talking about getting a sterile garden of course – that would be ridiculous, but here are some pointers of where a bit of cleaning at the right time in the right place may just help prevent illness if you are intending to eat outside.

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