With only a few days to go until the long Jubilee weekend, thousands of Wirral residents will soon be rolling up their sleeves to start preparing the all-important party food.
To help ensure it is enjoyable and safe, Wirral Council and the Food Standards Agency have teamed up to provide these easy-to-follow food safety tips:
- Always wash your hands regularly with soap and water before food preparation and consumption
- Wash fresh fruit and vegetables
- Keep raw and ready-to-eat foods apart
- Don’t use food that is past its use-by date
- Always read any cooking instructions and make sure food is properly cooked before you serve it – it needs to be piping hot
- Ensure food preparation areas are cleaned and sanitised before and after use and ensure equipment is washed in hot soapy water
- Store cold food below five degrees to prevent bacteria from growing. Plan ahead to keep your food cool until you’re ready to eat. Any foods which you would usually keep in the fridge at home also need to be kept cool on your picnic. This includes: any food with a use-by-date, cooked dishes, salads and dairy products. Place these foods in a cool box/bag with ice or frozen gel packs (remember to distribute these throughout the box/bag and not all at the bottom – you can also use frozen drinks to help keep your cool box/bag cold).
Narriman Looch, Head of Foodborne Disease Control at the FSA said, “We are delighted that the Platinum Jubilee gives communities across Wirral a chance to enjoy gathering together over the long weekend to celebrate this historic milestone. Celebrating safely means thinking about food safety ahead of time, so on the day you can concentrate on enjoying the party.
“We know there’s a lot to organise, but don’t forget hygiene is also important, so plan out carefully how you will prepare, make and store food. None of us want unsafe food to affect the fun we will all hope to have on the day.”
Following FSA guidance on the 4 C’s: cleaning, chilling, cooking, avoiding cross-contamination will also help you prepare a safe feast for your friends and neighbours.
Councillor Harry Gorman, vice-chair of Wirral’s Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee, said, “Warm weather, outdoor cooking, and serving food outside are the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow and increase the chance of food poisoning.
“But following these simple steps that most people are already familiar with, will help ensure that your party food is memorable for all the right reasons.”