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Freeze your chicken to avoid food poisoning

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Freezing meat once it is home from the supermarket could kill deadly bugs.

The process of freezing meat kills up to 90 percent of campylobacter cells.

Campylobacter bugs can cause stomach upsets, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Families should freeze and defrost chicken if they want to avoid food poisoning, a health chief said yesterday.

Six in every 10 chickens sold by supermarkets contain potentially lethal bugs that infect half a million people a year.

Around 100 of the victims die from vomiting and stomach upsets.

For decades, retailers and officials have known that campylobacter is rife on poultry farms but have failed to take action.

Instead an official at Public Health England suggests consumers can help protect themselves by freezing chicken after purchase and thoroughly defrosting it before cooking.

Frieda Jorgensen said: ‘Consumers will reduce their exposure of campylobacter if they eat frozen chicken instead of fresh chicken.’

Thoroughly cooking poultry makes it safe but the disease still infects a huge number of people, costing the British economy an estimated £9million a year in health costs and missed work hours.

The freezing process adds an extra level of security in the event of undercooked meat.

Dr Jorgensen added: ‘Freezing does bring about a reduction in the number of campylobacter cells.

‘We believe that they can reduce them by 90 per cent by undertaking this freezing process.

'Reducing the number of campylobacter cells on the chicken can matter in terms of the public health risk.’

However, consumer groups said retailers should take responsibility for the safety of their food.

‘It’s a complete cop-out to try to put responsibility on consumers to have to clean up poor practices caused earlier in the food supply chain,’ said Richard Lloyd, of consumer group Which?

‘The Food Standards Agency, retailers and poultry producers need to make lowering campylobacter levels a much greater priority.

‘The poultry industry must also clean up its act and be more accountable and transparent.’

Guangzhou Dechun Trade Ltd. Company
Guangzhou Dechun Trade Ltd. Company