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Are you guilty of a crime?

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By Fiona Reid
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Are you guilty of a crime?

ARE you a fridge stuffer, a mucky prepper or a ham sniffer? Or, maybe you consider yourself to be more of a double chopper or an open tinner?

They are just some of the top 20 kitchen crimes unveiled in a new safety campaign by Food Standards Scotland (FSS). And they are asking Be readers if they are guilty of any of them . . ?

The FSS hope that by highlighting the crimes, more people will follow good food safety practices this summer. It comes as research shows that 40 per cent of people who’ve had food poisoning believe they got it from eating and preparing food at home; an estimated one million people are affected by food poisoning in the UK annually, costing the economy in excess of £1bn; less than a third of Scots (31%) check the ‘use by’ date as the best indicator for deciding whether a food is safe to eat or not; 44 per cent don’t always use different chopping boards for different foods, or wash chopping boards when switching between foods; and 14 per cent of people in Scotland would still risk eating chicken or turkey that is pink.

Dr Jacqui McElhiney, head of Food Protection Science at Food Standards Scotland, pictured above, said: “Our first ‘Kitchen Crimes’ campaign had some positive impact, with 66 per cent of the people we interviewed saying that they had made improvements to their food safety practices after seeing it. However, our latest research shows that there is a need to keep raising awareness about the simple steps we can take in the kitchen to reduce the risks of food poisoning. We’re re-running the campaign to keep food safety at the forefront of people’s minds. This is often overlooked, and some people are still unaware of the potential consequences when cooking for themselves and others at home.

“We’d encourage people to check their own criminal record by playing our game or checking our website. Whether innocent or guilty, it’s easy to make small changes in the kitchen help reduce the risk.”

For more information on the 20 ‘Kitchen Crimes’ and to play the game, go to www.foodstandards.gov.scot/kitchen-crimes

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