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National Food Safety Week - "GermWatch" 11 June 2008

The Department of Local Government and the Environment is taking part in ‘GermWatch’, a National Food Safety Campaign, launched this week across the United Kingdom by the Food Standards Agency.

Representatives from the Food Safety Unit will be present at Tesco, Lake Road, Douglas, on Saturday 14th June. As well as issuing guidance and leaflets in relation to food safety, there will be a large selection of free balloons, stickers and quiz sheets for children to enjoy. The demonstrations will give local people an opportunity to meet Environmental Health Officers and pose any questions that they may have about food safety matters.

‘GermWatch’ aims to combat the rise in food poisoning cases which cost the economy in “England and Wales, upwards of £1.5 billion a year and double in frequency during the summer months.” Dr Andrew Wadge, Chief Scientist at the Food Standards Agency said, “Admitting the germs might have come from your own home remains a taboo subject. Whether it’s because of the hot weather, undercooked meat on the barbeque or people playing fast and loose with use by dates, food-poisoning shoots up over the summer and could make your mealtime a real horror story”.

The star of the campaign is “ Grubeye”, an unpleasant cartoon character who appears whenever people are at particular risk of from food-poisoning. “Nothing makes him happier than when people spread germs”. He is accompanied by some “Killer Facts” warning people of the dangers of poor food hygiene and giving practical advice in relation to cooking, cleaning, chilling and cross-contamination.

Ivan Bratty, the Department’s Food Safety Manager, said,

“This year's message is aimed at protecting the family from food-poisoning by showing the importance of making sure the food you prepare for yourself and for other people is safe to eat””

(www.food.gov.uk/safereating/hyg/germwatch/)

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