03:28AM, Monday 10 June 2013
The appeal to follow simple safety guidelines has been issued after a new Food Standards Agency (FSA) survey found the public could be putting their health at risk.
The survey found 28 per cent of people in the South-east admitted they would eat food that has been dropped on the floor and 24 per cent don't wash their hands properly before preparing food.
These kitchen horrors have been exposed at the start of Food Safety Week, which started today and runs until Sunday.
The FSA wants people in the Royal Borough to use its kitchen check and look at their own food preparation practices.
It gives them a score and some tips based on their answers.
The survey also reveals that 35 per cent of people in the South-east don't check 'use by' dates.
FSA food safety expert Bob Martin said: "By not washing their hands before preparing food at home, or ignoring 'use by' dates, people could be setting up themselves and their friends or family for a bout of really unpleasant illness."
Cllr Carwyn Cox, cabinet member for environmental services for the borough, said the survey figures were shocking but are for the South-east area as a whole.
"Our environmental health officers work hard to promote personal hygiene and weeks such as this are an ideal opportunity to get the message out," he added.
"It’s illegal for retailers to sell food past its 'use by' date and, of course, our trading standards officers are out and about trying to make sure this doesn’t happen here. "However, once shoppers get their food purchases home they need to remember to keep on checking the dates and not gamble on food being safe."
Visit food.gov.uk/kitchen-check for details.