A NEW campaign has been launched to encourage Wiganers to check their chicken in a bid to cut the number of food poisoning cases.
According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) almost three quarters of the borough eat poultry every week.
But 280,000 cases of food poisoning a year can be traced nationally to campylobacter which is a type of bacteria found mostly on raw chicken.
The infection can cause symptoms including abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea and vomiting. It can be particularly severe in small children and the elderly and in the very worst cases can be fatal.
And council bosses are backing the campaign with the aim of reducing the number of poisoning cases by half by the end of the year.
Julie Searing, group manager from Wigan Council Business Compliance and Improvement Selection said: “It’s important that we do our part to make sure that people know how to handle and cook food safely. We’re proud to be keeping people in Wigan safe and well by being apart of this campaign.”
In February it was found food safety standards are ranked in the bottom quarter nationally - but are still among the region’s best.”
Analysis by consumer group Which? placed the borough 297th out of 398 places are far as food safety enforcement records are concerned, with 87 per cent of medium and high-risk businesses meeting hygiene requirements.
Alan Blundell, assistant director for regulation at Wigan Council, said: “We work closely with all the food establishments in Wigan borough to ensure the highest standards of hygiene are met and maintained.
“If an establishment is given a low score we work with the owners to address the issues and advise them about the steps they need to take to improve their score.
“Our food hygiene officers visit premises on a regular basis to monitor progress and to ensure standards are maintained or where necessary, improved.”