COOKS are being urged not to wash raw chicken by a council as part of Food Safety Week.
East Hampshire District Council is focusing on the dangers of the potentially-fatal bacteria campylobacter.
Many people wash raw chicken before cooking it, but this can actually spread the germs.
Only a few of the micro-organisms are needed to cause a serious bout of food poisoning.
Thorough cooking kills campylobacter.
Other advice includes chilling and covering raw chicken and thoroughly washing cooking utensils that have come into contact with raw chicken.
Catherine Raynor, the council’s food safety team leader, said: ‘It’s important that we do our part to make sure that people know to handle and cook food safely for themselves and for their families.’
Bob Martin, head of food-borne disease strategy at the Food Standards Agency, said: ‘This is a serious problem and we are calling on the whole industry to act together to tackle campylobacter.’
Advice is available at food.gov.uk/chicken.