As the weather heats up and summer holidays get into full swing, evidence suggests the humble chicken has replaced bangers and burgers as the South East’s favourite barbecue food.
A survey by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) found that 34 per cent of outdoor chefs now consider chicken their top pick.
But with the number of food poisoning cases on the rise there is a warning about safety.
The FSA found that nearly one in three people didn’t worry about cooking chicken on the barbecue, despite over £250,000 people falling ill each year from campylobacter, the bug most often carried on raw poultry.
In response the FSA has launched the Chicken Challenge to encourage everyone to do their bit to reduce the number of people who get food poisoning from chicken.
Kevin Hargin, head of foodborne disease at the FSA, said: “We all want to serve up a sensational barbecue that also helps keep our family and friends safe.
“Although it’s great to be spontaneous, it’s safer and easier on the day if you prepare in advance by following simple measures such as pre-cooking chicken in the oven before putting it on the barbecue to ensure it’s cooked through, not washing raw chicken and avoiding cross-contamination of raw meats.”
To pledge to do your bit to support the Chicken Challenge, go to www.food.gov.uk/chickenchallenge
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