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Don’t let food poisoning ruin your festive celebrations!

Published: Monday, 2nd December 2019

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If there’s one thing guaranteed to ruin your Christmas meal out with friends, family or colleagues, it’s a nasty bout of food poisoning.

Pendle Council’s Environmental Health team is urging anyone organising a Christmas gathering at a local restaurant, pub or hotel to check out their hygiene rating as well as the menu!

The national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, developed by the Foods Standards Agency (FSA), rates food businesses on their hygiene standards, based on inspections carried out by the Council’s environmental health officers.

It scores food outlets on a scale ranging from zero which means urgent improvement is required, to five indicating very good standards of hygiene.

Philip Mousdale, Corporate Director, said: “What’s on the menu is often a key factor in choosing somewhere to eat, but food hygiene isn’t always at the forefront of our minds.

“Don’t let the risk of food poisoning ruin your festive celebrations – remember to check the food hygiene rating as well as the menu before you book!”

You can check hygiene ratings online at www.food.gov.uk/ratings or look for the distinctive green and black sticker that businesses are encouraged to display.

But remember - if a rating isn’t displayed then your chosen restaurant may not be hygienic.

The FSA has compiled some tips and advice on preparing and cooking food and using Christmas food leftovers safely whilst reducing waste.

Michael Duck, Team Leader of Environmental Health’s Commercial Section, said: “There are an estimated one million cases of food poisoning in the UK every year which can have serious consequences for some.

“By taking some simple precautions when preparing your Christmas food at home you can avoid any sickness.”

Advice on the FSA’s website includes following the 4Cs:

  • Cleaning
  • Chilling
  • Cooking
  • Avoiding cross-contamination.

More information is available on www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/christmas