News & Updates

Food safety campaign asks the Scottish public to check whether they’re guilty of ‘Kitchen Crimes’

Kitchen crimes food safety campaign
  • 40% of people who’ve had food poisoning believe they got it from eating and preparing food at home
  • An estimated one million people are affected by food poisoning in the UK annually, costing the economy in excess of £1bn
  • Less than a third of Scots (31%) check the ‘use by’ date as the best indicator for deciding whether a food is safe to eat or not
  • 44% don’t always use different chopping boards for different foods, or wash chopping boards when switching between foods
  • 14% of people in Scotland would still risk eating chicken or turkey that is pink,  which indicates it isn’t thoroughly cooked

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) is reminding Scots to avoid turning their kitchens into food ‘crime scenes’ by sticking to good food safety practices.

The ‘Kitchen Crimes’ food safety marketing campaign highlights 20  recommended food safety actions which are not always followed at home and could potentially lead to food poisoning.

The latest research* for FSS shows people in Scotland have taken some steps to follow these 20 food safety practices at home following the campaign running in January 2018. More improvement is needed as only one third of Scots check the ‘use by’ date as the best way to assess whether food is safe to eat or use in cooking.

Additional research** has found an estimated one million people are affected by foodborne disease in the UK annually, costing the economy in excess of £1bn.

Dr Jacqui McElhiney, Head of Food Protection Science at Food Standards Scotland, said: “Our first ‘Kitchen Crimes’ campaign had some positive impact, with 66%*** of the people we interviewed saying that they had made improvements to their food safety practices after seeing it. However, our latest research shows that there is a need to keep raising awareness about the simple steps we can take in the kitchen to reduce the risks of food poisoning. We’re re-running the campaign to keep food safety at the forefront of people’s minds. This is often overlooked, and some people are still unaware of the potential consequences when cooking for themselves and others at home.

 “We’d encourage people to check their own criminal record by playing our game or checking our website. Whether innocent or guilty, it’s easy to make small changes in the kitchen help reduce the risk.”

Food poisoning can have more severe consequences for the very young, the very old or those with compromised immune systems.

Find out more and try the Kitchen Crimes quiz.

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What’s your kitchen crime?

There are 20 common ‘kitchen crimes’ which could lead to food poisoning, but we can all do some small things in the kitchen to crack down and make sure the food we cook at home is safe.