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About WoodSmoke Forum food safety advice


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Please remember, the ultimate responsibility for the safety of the food you produce and eat is your own. Whilst we are here to answer your questions and offer you advice we cannot be held responsible for your personal actions. Many of the Members here offering advice are qualified in safe food handling practices and many have been involved in the commercial preparation of food for many years. Having said that, we are all human and sometimes mistakes are made.

Whilst there are many "traditional" methods for cooking and curing foods, not all of these methods comply with current food safety guidelines and legislation. That does not mean that they are not safe, however it does mean that they cannot be endorsed here on the forum. That does not mean that you cannot post these traditional recipes, but please do not be offended if these are flagged as not conforming to recognised legislation or guidelines. Recipes and preparation methods that we do consider to be unsafe will be removed.

The food safety advice we will provide will be based upon the following guidelines - in order of priority

  1. UK FSA legislation and guidelines
  2. EU legislation and guidelines
  3. USA FDA/FSIS legislation and guidelines
  4. Common sense

When smoking, curing and preserving there are often areas where the only guidelines available are those for food that is being produced commercially. Where this is the case these commercial guidelines will be the advice that we offer.

Many of you out there are also very experienced on food preparation and handling and we encourage you to assist (where you feel comfortable) in answering the questions from other members.

Whenever you are looking to branch out and try a new technique that you have not used before, we strongly advise that you research it sufficiently before you begin. Understanding what you are trying to do will take a lot of the anxiety out of taking that first bite. Food safety advice goes in both directions too. We are not here just to advise you when something isn't safe but also to help you decide when it is.

There is an old saying that goes "When in doubt, chuck it out". This is generally good advice, however it often leads to perfectly safe food from being discarded ! The more you understand about what you are trying to do the less "doubt" you will have - and so the less likely you will be to "chuck it out".
I would like to offer the following amended advice - "When in doubt... ask".

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