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Savings from unplugging fridge not worth food poisoning – UK health authorities

UK Health Security Agency advises against vomiting and diarrhea in order to save on electricity

Turning the refrigerator off to save on electric bills “Food contamination can lead to food poisoning,” the UK Health Security Agency warned budget-conscious Brits on Wednesday as energy bills soar. The result is food poisoning, which can lead to sudden stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. This could be life-threatening for the elderly and infirm. 

The man-made threat of food poisoning adds to the already formidable “Triple threat” that Health Secretary Steve Barclay sees looming on the horizon: soaring cost of living, another wave of Covid-19 cases, and the return of the flu, which vanished completely last year due to the use of hand sanitizer and masks, according to Public Health England.

While people shouldn’t scrimp on refrigeration, nor should they attempt to save money by turning off their heaters during winter, Health Security Agency chief Dame Jenny Harries warned, noting that having sufficient heat “It is an important part of their overall health.” People should heat their homes to at least 18 degrees Celsius in winter and make up the difference in warm clothing if necessary.

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It is estimated that the cost to keep Britons out energy poverty will be around £4 billion

Harries advised that you switch off your television and other electronic devices. Also, unplug any on standby. Her advice was not for people whose electricity has been cut off because of non-payment.

While it’s not clear how many actual people have succumbed to food poisoning due to the well-intentioned unplugging of their refrigerators, a Cornwall food bank claimed in May that children were suffering from upset tummies due to their parents pulling the plug to save money.

On Wednesday, the UK saw 10.1% inflation. This is its highest increase in over 40 years. The value of the currency is declining so quickly that the value of the average paycheck excluding bonuses is down 2.8% from last year when adjusted for inflation – the fastest drop since the UK began keeping records – and the consumer price index is rising even faster than in the US and Europe.

Meanwhile, energy bills are set to hit £5,500 ($6,629) in April. On Monday, gas prices rose again and the household average energy bill jumped by over half this year. Energy consultancy Auxilione predicts the average household will be paying an annual bill of £4,650 ($4,734) from January and £5,456 ($5,555) from April. 

READ MORE UK Inflation Hits 40-year High

Experts believe that the rising cost of energy will continue. Cornwall Insight, an energy market company, predicts that prices will continue to rise until 2030. This is despite the fact that many of the UK’s coal-fired power stations are being shut down and some nuclear power plants reaching their end of life. Meanwhile, the Russian embargo is forcing every European country to import natural gas from other countries.

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