Scottish Chef of the Year Adam Handling joined Food Standards Scotland to promote the new body’s food safety and healthy eating messages to consumers for the first time on the opening day of the Royal Highland Show (18 June 2015). The 2013 Masterchef finalist attracted large crowds to the organisation’s new interactive stand, where along with Geoff Ogle, Chief Executive of FSS, he urged people to stop washing raw chicken to reduce the risk of contracting food poisoning bugs such as Campylobacter.
With a recent survey finding that one in four adults (26%) mistakenly believe washing chicken before it’s cooked on a barbecue is the best way to ensure it is safe to eat, Food Standards Scotland is visiting the annual food and drink event to help raise awareness about easy and important food safety practices. Foodborne illness causes around 43,000 infections, 5,800 GP visits and 500 hospital admissions across Scotland every year. To help people eat safe this summer, Adam Handling helped Food Standards Scotland share its advice on the Four C’s to drive home the key steps to safe barbecuing: Cleaning, Cooking, Chilling and avoiding Cross-contamination.
Speaking at the event, Adam Handling said: “There is no doubt that people in Scotland take an active interest in the food they eat but information on labelling, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and preparing food safely can be confusing. That’s why I fully support Food Standards Scotland which is working hard to promote clear and reliable information about food. “As a professional chef, I understand how important the Four C’s safety tips are, whether you’re preparing food in a restaurant, cooking at home or on the barbecue. Following some really straightforward advice helps reduce food poisoning, which no-one wants at any time of year. Not everyone’s aware that you shouldn’t wash raw poultry before you cook it, and it’s really important to always wash utensils and chopping boards after use and most importantly wash your hands thoroughly throughout.”
Dozens of visitors including school children took part in a number of food demonstrations aimed at helping them make safe and healthier choices. Interactive games including an innovative hand-washing unit where visitors to the stand can test their technique under an ultraviolet light to check where harmful bacteria might lurk unseen have also proven popular at the event. Chief Executive of Food Standards Scotland, Geoff Ogle added: “Adam’s visit has been a great boost for us as it helps us raise awareness of the vital importance of preparing and cooking food safely – indoors and out. “Food Standards Scotland is committed to working in partnership with the food industry and chefs such as Adam to reach as many people as possible to let them know about the simple yet effective things they can do to help them work towards a balanced, healthy diet and to reduce the risk of food poisoning to them and their families.”