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Spring has arrived and so has the warmer weather - a great chance to indulge in picnics, barbecues and eating outside at pavement cafes.
But unfortunately, bacteria grow more quickly as the temperature rises – and this can sometimes be a recipe for food poisoning.
If you have suffered food poisoning through no fault of your own – perhaps while at a restaurant or through poorly-refrigerated food sold in a shop – then a No Win, No Fee solicitor like Claims Direct can help you claim compensation.
According to the Food Standards Agency, food poisoning cases double during the summer months. An early summer could mean early outbreaks of food poisoning.
The tips below should be observed by all warm weather chefs – be it the man in the BBQ van at the summer festival, the catering firm organising food ‘al fresco’ and you, entertaining friends in your garden at home.
Warm weather cooking – ten safety tips
1.Chefs and diners should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, particularly after trips to the bathroom and prior to cooking or eating.
2.Wait until the BBQ charcoal has a red glow before you start to throw meat on it. If you don’t do this then you could over-char the outside of the meat and be fooled into thinking that the inside is cooked.
3.Cook barbecue meat until it is pink inside, piping hot throughout and has juices which run clear.
4. Time can be saved by thoroughly cooking meat in the oven first and then reheating it thoroughly on the BBQ later. Better this than rushing to cook meat from scratch.
5.When marinating food, keep it refrigerated.
6.Don’t leave food out of the fridge for longer than one hour when the temperature is above 90F (32.2C).
7.If the temperature is lower than 90F it is best not to leave food un-refrigerated for more than two hours – outside the fridge as little as 10 invisible germs can multiply to 1,000 in six hours.
8.Wash fruit and veg with cool running water and use a soft brush to scrub rough-surfaced fruits such as cantaloupe melons.
9.Buy a cool bag or a cool box for picnics and don’t take food out of the fridge until the last minute. Cool bags can also be used to take refrigerated food home from the supermarket.
10. And if you don’t remember anything else, remember this - keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
What to do if you get food poisoning
The symptoms of food poisoning usually appear one to three days after a person comes into contact with contaminated food. These symptoms can include stomach cramps, waves of nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Upping your intake of water, resting and eating easily-digested food, such as toast, can help you overcome food poisoning.
It might seem horrible at the time but do remember that the NHS website says that “most people with food poisoning get better without the need for treatment”.
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