Protect Yourself From Campylobacter

Recently we stumbled upon a worrying trend: medium rare chicken. After grimacing at the photos, everyone at Gem HQ unanimously agreed that it is stomach churning and dangerous, as eating undercooked chicken is one of the biggest causes of food poisoning.
If you are concerned about eating medium rare chicken, we will give you the right information about Campylobacter, why it could be deadly to try the trend and a handy temperature guide for cooking chicken and other meats.

What is Campylobacter?

The most common cause of food poisoning in the UK is Campylobacter, a bacteria commonly found in raw poultry. Cross-contamination from raw poultry is the usual suspect when contracting campylobacter poisoning but it can also be contracted from undercooking chicken. Campylobacter can’t be seen or tasted on food but its effects on your body should you contract it won’t be forgotten for a long time!

Symptoms of Campylobacter poisoning will usually manifest a few days after eating contaminated food with symptoms including:

  • abdominal pain
  • severe diarrhoea
  • vomiting

Illness can last anywhere between 2 and 10 days, with children and elderly people and can be fatal. An estimated 100 deaths a year are caused by Campylobacter and costs the UK Economy about £900 million. Most people can recover at home and don’t need specific treatment, although if these symptoms don’t improve or if they get severe then contact your GP immediately.

So how can you make sure you aren’t putting yourself at risk?


An ETI SuperFast Thermpen 4 Thermometer is ideal for checking that the chicken is cooked properly and is safe to eat. The Thermpen 4 uses advanced technology to give you a fast and accurate reading in just 3 seconds!  It has stainless steel, reduced tip and food penetration probe (3.3 x 115mm) which when the instrument is not in use, the probe conveniently folds back through 180° into the side.

You could also use an AZOWIPE Hard Surface Disinfectant Wipe. These wipes are NHS approved alcohol disinfectant (70% isopropanol) wipes that are fully validated by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited laboratories which comply with ISO 17025. You could use these specific wipes to clean any surfaces before and after handling meats like chicken.

Both Thermapens and Azowipes are available to buy online.

Correct and safe temperatures

When preparing raw chicken products you should always clean your hands thoroughly, along with all appliances and utensils that come in contact with it before using them to prepare other foods. The table below indicates what minimum temperatures you should cook chicken and other meats to make sure they are cooked through.
Meat Temperature
Chicken, Turkey & Duck 74°
Beef, Lamb & Veal (medium) 60°
Beef, Lamb & Veal (well done) 71°
Pork Roasts, Steak & Chops (medium) 63°
Pork Roasts, Steak & Chops (well done) 71°
Fish 60°

Facts provided by:
Food Standard Agency
Thermapen

To learn more about the Thermpen or AZOWIPE give our team a call on 01924 444577 or email hello@gemscientific.co.uk to request more information

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