Milton Keynes Council issues tips on how to serve food safely ahead of Platinum Jubilee weekend

    MK Council is working with the Food Standards Agency on how to serve up safe food.

    If you’re planning to celebrate during the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend (2-5 June) and need help around food safety, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Milton Keynes Council have some easy-to-follow tips so that the food at your event will be memorable for all the right reasons.

    Warm weather and outdoor cooking are the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow. If you’re making food for large numbers of people, take extra care and limit the risks:

    • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water before food preparation and consumption. 
    • Always wash fresh fruit and vegetables.
    • Keep raw and ready-to-eat foods apart.
    • Do not use food past its use-by date. 
    • Always read any cooking instructions and make sure food is properly cooked before you serve it–it needs to be piping hot. 
    • Ensure that food preparation areas are cleaned and sanitised before and after use and ensure equipment is washed in hot soapy water. 
    • Store cold food below five degrees to prevent bacteria from growing (see below).

    Plan ahead to keep your food cool until you're ready to eat. Any foods which you would usually keep in the fridge at home also need to be kept cool on your picnic, such as any food with a use-by-date, cooked dishes, salads, and dairy products. Place these foods in a cool box or cool bag with ice or frozen gel packs – and distribute these throughout the box or bag, not all at the bottom. You can also use frozen drinks to help keep your cool box cold.

    Narriman Looch, Head of Foodborne Disease Control at the FSA said: “We are delighted that the Platinum Jubilee gives communities in Milton Keynes a chance to enjoy gathering together over the long weekend to celebrate this historic milestone. Celebrating safely means thinking about food safety ahead of time, so on the day you can concentrate on enjoying the party.

    “We know there’s a lot to organise, but don’t forget hygiene is also important, so plan out carefully how you will prepare, make and store food. None of us want unsafe food to affect the fun we will all hope to have on the day.” 

    You don’t need a food hygiene training certificate to make and sell food for charity events, although you need to make sure that you handle food safely. If you’re putting on a one-off event for friends and neighbours, you do not need to register. However, if any food businesses are present, they must be registered with the council. 

    Find out more about holding a street party and contact your local food safety team on 01908 691691 or ehfst@milton-keynes.gov.uk 

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