The issue of food hygiene is at the forefront of people’s minds once again after Aldi, Sainbury’s, M&S and Waitrose issued a “do not eat” warning over chicken infected with salmonella. High street café chain Pret-A-Manger has also put out an alert about some of its chicken products.
Chicken sandwiches and wraps have been removed from supermarket shelves, and chicken snacks removed from menus, as a precaution. The alarm was first raised yesterday (Thursday May 12) by the Food Standards Agency and the alert updated today.
Cranswick Country Foods supplies chicken products and snacks to the likes of Aldi, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Amazon and the Co-op. The firm also prepares snacks for Costa Coffee and Starbucks cafes, and One Stop convenience stores across the UK.
READMORE:Aldi, Sainsbury’s, M&S and Waitrose issue urgent ‘do not eat’ warning to chicken eaters
The national food industry regulator has published a long list of recalled items, including product details, on its website. It said: “Cranswick Country Foods are recalling several products containing chicken because salmonella has been found in some of the chicken used to manufacture these products.”
The Food Standards Agency added: “As a precaution additional products are also being recalled whilst investigations continue.” The regulator has also outlined salmonella symptoms to look out for and offered other advice to the public on how to protect themselves and their families.
It said: “Symptoms caused by salmonella usually include fever, diarrhoea, and abdominal cramps.” The Agency also provides some useful information on what causes salmonella food poisoning.
What is salmonella?
Salmonellas are a group of common bacteria that cause food poisoning. Salmonella infection, also known as salmonellosis, is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract.
The bacterium is named after Daniel E. Salmon, a veterinarian who spent his career studying animal diseases for the US Department of Agriculture. It typically lives in animal and human intestines and is shed through faeces. Humans become infected most frequently through contaminated water or food.
How is salmonella bacteria spread?
Salmonella bacteria live in the gut of many farm animals. During rearing, slaughter and processing, the bacteria can be transferred into food products.
Other foods like green vegetables, fruit and shellfish can become contaminated through contact with animal and human faeces. For example, from manure used to improve soil fertility or sewage in water.
Salmonella bacteria can be spread from pets such as cats and dogs to people. They can also be spread from person to person through poor hygiene.
What are the symptoms of salmonella food poisoning?
According to the NHS website, there are several things to look out for. However, it stresses that food poisoning is rarely serious and usually gets better in a week. It is most commonly treated at home.
- Feeling sick or experiencing nausea
- stomach cramps
- A high temperature that is 38C or above
- Feeling tired or having aches and chills
The symptoms usually start within a few days of eating the food that caused the infection. Sometimes, however, they can start after just a few hours, or after a few weeks, warns the NHS.
How to treat diarrhea and vomiting
The most important thing, according to the NHS, is to have “lots of fluids to avoid dehydration”. The website outlines a series of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’. the things to do include:
Stay at home and get plenty of rest
Drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash – take small sips if you feel sick
Eat when you feel able to – you do not need to eat or avoid any specific foods
Take paracetamol if you’re in discomfort – check the leaflet before giving it to your child
things you should not do include:
Drinking fruit juice or fizzy drinks as they can make it worse
Giving children under 12 medicine to stop diarrhoea
Giving aspirin to children under 16
How to avoid salmonella food poisoning – reducing the risk at home
The salmonella bacteria is usually spread by inadequate cooking and through cross-contamination. Salmonella bacteria are most often found in: raw meat; undercooked poultry such as chicken or turkey; eggs, and unpasteurized milk
“Young children, people aged 65 or over, and those whose immune systems are not working properly have a greater risk of becoming severely ill with food poisoning caused by salmonella,” warns the Food Standards Agency.
It advises people to follow the ‘Four Cs’ when it comes to preparing and storing food at home to maintain good food hygiene. They are:
- Chilling – placing food in a fridge or freezer to stop harmful bacteria from growing.
- Cleaning – washing hands with soapy water before and after handling food. Work surfaces, chopping boards and knives also need to be kept clean.
- Cooking – making sure that meat, eggs and vegetables are cooked thoroughly
- Avoiding Cross-contamination – by keeping raw food away from ready-to-eat food, utensils and surfaces
For more information visit the Food Standards Agency website by clicking here.