BARNSLEY Council’s Environmental Health officers are urging the public to be vigilant against food poisoning.

In 2012 there were 451 cases of proven food poisoning in Barnsley. However, because most people affected don’t go to the doctor after suffering with the illness, it's thought that these figures don’t show the full picture.

It is estimated that there are 10 times as many cases in reality.

Cllr Roy Miller, said: “Food poisoning is no joke - you can be very ill with it. A few people get ill from trips abroad and a few by eating out but most food poisoning is picked up from an unknown source and probably from the home.“

They've released a set of guidelines for you to follow which urge you to get into the habit of making sure you're unable to allow bacteria to multiply.

These include cleaning all surfaces, washing your hands after touching raw meat, storing the meat at the correct temperature (less than 8°C if refridgerated) and always at the bottom of the fridge.

As well as storing correctly before cooking, the council urge you to cook meat and poultry thoroughly. For joints, juices have to run clear and if you're in doubt it's advised that you get a meat thermometer to check that it has reached 75°C.

Barnsley Council’s Food Safety team investigates food poisonings and can be contacted on 01226 772468 (regulatoryservice@barnsley.gov.uk).