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People urged not to cut corners with food safety

Published: 24 November 2022

People urged not to cut corners with food safety People urged not to cut corners with food safety

A growing number of people are taking food safety risks because of money pressures and rising energy costs, according to latest research from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Exeter City Council works closely with the FSA and people living in the city are being given advice on how to make food go further without compromising on safety.

The latest FSA Consumer Survey found that:

  • 32% of participants reported that they had eaten food past its use-by date, at least once in the past month, because they couldn’t afford to buy more food.
  • 18% of participants turned off a fridge and/or freezer containing food, at least once in the last month, to reduce energy bills and save money.

People are being offered the following advice as part of the FSA’s campaign:

Make the most of the weekly shop

  • Bulk buy food, separate into portions and freeze.
  • Check guidance on food packaging for defrosting times.
  • Ensure the freezer is operating at a temperature of at least –18°C
  • Place food in air-tight containers or wrap well in freezer bags. Extra tip: label with the date and contents to avoid UFOs (Unidentified Frozen Objects)!
  • Once defrosted, cook and eat within 24 hours. Always defrost in the fridge with a container underneath to catch any drips or at the bottom of fridge.

Check the temperature in the fridge

  • Check the fridge temperature is 5°C or below so it will preserve foods for longer. It will also save money by reducing food waste. This temperature stops food spoiling by preventing harmful bacteria growing.

Cooking meat in an air fryer

Not all food packaging has air fryer instructions, but the Food Standards Agency’s cooking advice still stands:

  • Pre heat the air fryer to the correct temperature. Refer to the instructions for the appliance for cooking advice on specific foods
  • Different foods can be cooked together in the air fryer, but they may require different times and temperatures
  • Avoid overcrowding foods in the air fryer to allow adequate air circulation to ensure thorough cooking
  • Check that food is steaming hot all the way through
  • If cooking pork, minced meat, sausages or poultry, cut the thickest part of the meat to check none is pink and juices run clear

Cooking tips

Slow cooker, air fryer, microwave, oven...whether trying to be more efficient, keep it safe and hygienic with the Food Standards Agency’s #SafeFoodHacks:

  • Check cooking times and temperatures before starting to cook.
  • Use separate utensils for raw and cooked food.
  • Clean any washable parts in warm, soapy water.
  • Make sure food is steaming hot and cooked all the way through

Microwave leftovers

The weekly budget isn't going as far as it used to, so why not store and reheat food for another night. Here are some tips for using a microwave to reheat food:

  • Previously cooked and frozen meat should only be reheated once
  • Stir halfway through to make sure it gets properly heated throughout
  • Make sure that it is steaming hot all the way through before eating. Eat immediately after reheating

Find out more on the FSA website at

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