Food Safety WeekThis week the Food Standards Agency is raising awareness of hygiene in the home with  Food Safety Week (Germ Watch), running from today 6th June to the 12th of June 2011.  Hygiene and cleanliness is high on the agenda for many of our BITE users, quite often we recieve comments regarding the cleanliness, or lack of, in the pubs BITE users visit.  But how much do you really know about food hygiene?  How much do you really abide hygiene advice when you are in your own home?

The Food Standards Agency has released a handy food hygene myths test, click here for the PDF. The FSA material will help you dispel some of the common myths surrounding food hygiene and teach us all a few things we might not yet know about safe food preparation. 

BBC Health reports that there are up to 9 million cases of gastroenteritis each year in the UK, that’s around 14 percent of the country’s population.  Many of us may feel that we are food conscious, but there’s always going to more that we can all do, especially this week, if you find any of  these basic food hygiene facts interesting, remember to spread the word and not the germs…

Food hygiene did you know?

1. Although the kitchen sink contains 100,000 times more germs than a bathroom or lavatory, most people still think of the toilet as the most contaminated part of the house. (Source NHS Choices website.)

2. Bacteria can grow and divide every 20 minutes. One single bacterium can multiply into more than eight million cells in less than 24 hours. (Source NHS Choices website.)

3. There are more germs on a computer keyboard than there are on your toilet. (Hygieneic Solutions UK website.)

4. Despite the pressure you may feel to rid your life of bacteria right now, a number of common bacteria (microflora) are essential in our diet and even help prevent harmful bacteria from spreading, bacteria form the foundation of life itself and first step in most food chains, they aren’t about to go away any time soon… (Source Buzzle website.)

5. The 5 second rule, is a myth, dropping food onto your floor and retrieving it within 5 seconds, harmful bacteria will make the leap to your food item in less than 5 seconds.  (Source Suffolk Coastal website.)

If you’ve got some good hygiene tips to use around the home and would like to share them with other BITE users, you can leave your thoughts in our comments section below or join in the conversation on our Facebook page.