Top tips for fighting the food poisoning bug

There are four essential things you need to know when preparing chicken. Credit: ITV News

Shoppers will no doubt be shocked by new figures showing 73% of fresh chickens from supermarkets are contaminated with a dangerous bacteria.

I believe the responsibility lies with industry to clean up their produce - but households have to know how to manage the risk that has been foisted on us.

Below is some of the most authoritative, up-to-date and independent advice from Public Health England.

There are four essential things you need to know:

1. Cover and chill raw chicken

Cover raw chicken and store at the bottom of the fridge so juices cannot drip on to other foods and contaminate them with food poisoning bacteria such as campylobacter.

2. Don’t wash raw chicken

Thorough cooking will kill any bacteria present, including campylobacter, while washing chicken can spread germs around the kitchen by splashing.

3. Wash used utensils

Thoroughly wash and clean all utensils, chopping boards and surfaces used to prepare raw chicken.

Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after handling raw chicken.

This helps stop the spread of campylobacter by avoiding cross-contamination.

4. Cook chicken thoroughly

Make sure chicken is steaming hot all the way through before serving.

Cut into the thickest part of the meat and check that it is steaming hot with no pink meat and that the juices run clear.

ITV News has obtained exclusive new research from one of Britain's most respected food laboratories.

Leatherhead Food interviewed 1,500 home cooks anonymously - and what they discovered gives a unique insight into the usually hidden secrets of Britain's kitchens:

  • A third don't wash their hands unless they look grubby - the food poisoning bacteria is invisible

  • 87% say their tea towels are less than spotless with 1 in 100 admitting they are "disgusting"

  • A third don't know what campylobacter is

  • 74% don't have a kitchen thermometer to test if chicken is cooked thoroughly

"We need a step change in behaviour in the kitchen, Professor Tony Hines told ITV News.