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Home food facts on World Food Safety Day (June 7)

In the current circumstances more of us are cooking and eating at home, this World Food Safety Day (June 7) we want to help you make the most of the contents of your cupboards and fridges in a safe way.

The Food Standards Agency have lots of information which will help answer some of the safety questions you may have.

Peter Quigley, Head of Chemical Safety Policy at the Food Standards Agency, said:

“Food safety is everyone’s business. As part of my role, I answer all sorts of questions about food safety, so we’ve pulled together some of the ones we get asked most frequently.

“We hope that our home food facts, help you to avoid throwing away good food unnecessarily.”

Here are five of your top food safety questions answered, to help you make your food go further:

When eggs float are they bad?

Don’t use the egg float test to determine safety. Eggs are safe to eat for a couple of days after the best before date, as long as they are cooked thoroughly.

Is food safe if the can has a dent in it?

If the dent on the can is shallow and there are no other obvious signs that the can is damaged (such as the can expanding or leaking) your food should remain fit to eat.

How long can you safely eat rice for after cooking?

Keep rice in the fridge for no more than one day. When you reheat rice always check the dish is steaming hot all the way through.

Can you eat potatoes when they start to sprout?

Remove any sprouts on potatoes before using them and remember and cut off any green or rotten bits.

Can you eat brown bananas?

Fruit or vegetables that are a bit overripe, such as wrinkly carrots, brown bananas and slightly mushy strawberries can be eaten normally (providing they are not mouldy). Alternatively, they can be used in cooking, baking or smoothies.

For more information, please visit our home food hygiene page.


Council doubly disappointed at mess left on Sefton’s beaches as weekend visitors descend

Litter being collected from Ainsdale beach

Sefton Councillors have described themselves as doubly disappointed by the many people who ignored advice to avoid local beaches this weekend and by the level of parking issues and rubbish that was then left behind by people.

Large numbers travelled to Sefton’s beaches from as far afield as Manchester, Wigan and Birmingham over the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday there was an average of 7,000 people on the beaches each day at any one time.

Leader of Sefton Council, Ian Maher said, “Sefton’s coast line is stunning, and we understand why people want to visit, especially when the weather is nice.  However, it’s really worrying that people are ignoring Government advice and appear to be completely ignoring social distancing guidance.

“As well as risking their own safety, and the safety of our local residents, the state in which some of those visitors have left certain parts of our coastline is simply an insult to our local communities.

“In addition, there were a number of people who as well as ignoring the requests from Council and the Police to stay away, put the Southport Lifeboat team at additional risk by getting themselves in the situation where they needed to be rescued from the incoming tide.

“Visitors need to remain respectful and protect our public spaces. Don’t leave your litter behind or use camp fires or barbecues.

“We also understand that many people living in our coastal areas have experienced an increase in parked cars.

“Sefton Council is doing everything it can to address the issue and our enforcement officers were issuing parking tickets all weekend to cars parked irresponsibly and dangerously. Unfortunately, the high volume of vehicles and people on all the restricted roads around the seafront meant our officers could not cover all areas safely.

“Some people have suggested we close the beaches but with 22 miles of coastline, with hundreds of individual access points, this is simply not possible.

“We have restricted access to the car parks and worked with Merseyside Police to restrict access to local roads, but the real answer is people taking responsibility for their behaviour and showing some consideration for others.”

David Mercer, senior reserve manager at Natural England, said: “We have had several serious wildfires on the National Nature Reserves in Merseyside this week due to visitors lighting campfires and barbecues. This has not only endangered people’s lives and the wildlife of the site but also tied up several fire crews for days at a time.

“If visiting the countryside, please follow the Countryside Code and do not light fires or use disposable barbecues. Even a discarded cigarette can start a fire at this time of year. If you do come across a fire do not attempt to tackle it but ring 999 with your location.”

Guidance on staying safe outside your home.


Council agrees additional £2.5 million Coronavirus funding for Borough’s care homes

At its meeting on Thursday, Sefton Council’s Cabinet approved arrange of measure to provide £2.5 million of additional funding for the Borough’s Care Homes.

The decision will mean an extra £1.8 million being paid to Care Home Providers from the Government’s Infection Prevention Control fund and £720,000 in placement payments dating back to the start of April. This is in addition to the £650,000 that has already been provided to help homes meet the added costs caused by the Coronavirus pandemic

Additionally, Sefton Council remains committed to paying Care Homes an additional £50 per placement per week until the Government provides specific details of how the remainder of the Infection Control Fund should be used. This equates to an ongoing weekly commitment of £170,000.

A report setting out the support that has been provided to Sefton’s Care Homes is being submitted to the Government this week. Councillors at the meeting heard that the Council had provided both financial and practical support, such as the supply of PPE to the Borough’s Care Homes and that the ongoing support is part of a continued joint commitment of support with the Sefton Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

Practical support has also entailed supplying Care Homes with smart phones to enable a daily call with all of them, at which managers and owners can highlight problems they are facing, to take place.

Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care told the meeting he was proud that while at times it had been close, the Council had been able to help prevent any of the Borough’s Care Homes running out of PPE.

Cllr Cummins said he also felt for people who had lost loved ones in Care Homes and staff who had done so much to care for people.

He said: “I spoke to the Manager of a care Home in my ward who said her staff had been incredible and that she had also said she was grateful for Sefton Council’s support, which was nice to hear.”

The report agreed at the ’ Cabinet meeting also explained that Care Home providers are being reminded to notify Sefton Council if they believe they are facing severe financial that could mean failure. It also proposed that urgent work takes place to investigate the possibility of making emergency payments to providers experiencing severe financial hardship.

Sefton Council’s Adult Social Care team has written to the Borough’s Care Homes to provide an initial overview of the proposals agreed by Cabinet and to provide more details together with anticipated payment dates.

You can find details of Thursday’s Cabinet meeting here.

Sefton’s iconic buildings light up in honour of key workers and NHS heroes

‘Clapping Hands’ at Bootle Town Hall

Sefton gave an extra big hand last night for NHS staff and key workers, thanks to London based British textile artist Ian Berry whose ‘Clapping Hands’ were projected onto Southport and Bootle Town Hall.

 A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “We are honoured to be the first area in the Merseyside region to be showing this powerful animation of two clapping hands on the day the nation claps for those working to keep us safe through the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Ian Berry lives & works from his London studio and was moved by the clapping, at 8pm on Thursdays every week in the UK. His son couldn’t wait for Thursdays to come, often asking ‘is it Thursday yet?’.

‘Clapping Hands’ at Southport Town Hall

After explaining to his son that we are clapping for those who keep us safe, they took a picture of two clapping hands and the idea was born.

The projection, which has shone on iconic buildings across the world, acts as a visual reminder that the nation supports those on the frontline and encourages people to think of who they clap for each Thursday at 8pm.

“Fostering may be an option for people whose lives are changing due to Coronavirus” Sefton Council Chief Executive

Sefton Council Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson says at this time when people are facing changes in their lives, he hopes some may consider the option of becoming foster parents.

Speaking as Fostering Fortnight draws to a close Johnson, whose own mother was fostered, said:

“We are all facing unprecedented and enforced changes to our work and personal lives and some people may have seen their experiences change as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown.

“It is a period where some people are choosing to or having to evaluate their lives and think about changes for the future.

“I hope that anyone who has thought about becoming a foster carer might use this opportunity to follow it up and see whether providing this vital support for young people is for them.

“I know it’s a varied and challenging role which is also very rewarding and satisfying. From personal experience, I have seen the huge positive effect it has had on my mother’s life.”

As well as a child’s day-to-day care, being a foster carer involves providing support and guidance about education, health and social well-being matters that will affect the rest of that young person’s life. Training and support is provided for the role, which also means attending some meetings and managing confidential and sensitive information.

For a child or young person, being moved from their home for different complex reasons, can be distressing and difficult to understand. They can experience loss and anxiety when separated from their birth family and need love, patience, support and understanding to cope.

Johnson adds:

The Coronavirus lockdown period has been difficult for those of us who have our partners, children, mums and dads, brothers and sister around us but for those young people who for whatever reason haven’t had any family they can connect with, it will have been a particularly trying time.

“We really need new people to support those children and families.”

To find out more about becoming a foster parent, you can visit our dedicated website 

Or speak to one of the team on our freephone number 0800 923 2777

Take a look at this moving video from Dwayne’s mother as she shares her personal experience of being fostered herself.


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