safefood reminds consumers of the need for better food hygiene in the home

New research reveals just 14% of consumers realise they need to make changes to their food hygiene practices

24 March, 2010. safefood research reveals that although seven in ten consumers believe that they prepare, cook and store food safely¹ research conducted with consumers in test kitchens and domestic homes has in fact highlighted poor food hygiene habits². Just 14% of consumers realise they need to make changes¹.

safefood is issuing a reminder of the risks associated with poor food safety practices with its “Don’t Take Risks” campaign, which focuses on key poor food safety habits.

Dr. Gary Kearney, Director Food Science, safefood said; “The recent focus on the levels of Campylobacter infection in chickens is a reminder to us all of how important good food hygiene is to ensure bacteria do not spread in our kitchens. Our research in domestic and test kitchens revealed that 84% of people did not thoroughly wash their hands after handling raw chicken, and 72% failed to thoroughly wash the knife used in preparing raw chicken before reusing it on salad vegetables². By following our simple advice on good food hygiene consumers can reduce the risk of food poisoning for themselves and their families.”

The campaign reinforces three golden rules:

  • cook chicken and minced meat thoroughly until piping hot all the way through with no pink meat remaining and the juices running clear;
  • always wash hands in warm, soapy water after handling raw meat or chicken; and
  • always wash utensils such as knives and chopping boards thoroughly after use with raw meat and chicken and before reuse with ready to eat foods such as salads.

The research also revealed that over one in three people in the Republic of Ireland (36%) are very concerned about food safety issues¹. One in four people in the Republic of Ireland (26%) say that food not being cooked thoroughly is the food related issue they are most concerned about, followed by food poisoning at 24%¹. The research also revealed that raw chicken is the food that causes consumers the most concern with 66% of people in the Republic of Ireland citing concerns about its safety¹.

“Don’t Take Risks” consists of three 20 second live action advertisements with the themes of “Knife”, “Hands” and “Flame”. The advertising commences this week and will air for four weeks with the introduction of cinema advertising for five weeks. “Don’t Take Risks” advertising is also supported by online activity at and PR.

For more information on food safety in the home, please contact the safefood helpline on 1850 40 4567 (ROI), 0800 085 1683 (NI) or visit


For further information please contact:

Cliodhna Lamont / Susie Cunningham , WHPR
Telephone: 01 669 0030 / 087 925 0874 (Cliodhna) and 087 850 5055 (Susie)
Email: and


  1. safetrak research conducted across Island of Ireland, 23rd November - 8th December 2009 by Millward Brown Lansdowne. Representative sample of 804 (504 in Republic of Ireland and 300 in Northern Ireland) people aged 15 – 74 years.
  2. “Identification of Critical Control Points during Domestic Food Preparation”, University College Dublin and the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, 2008.