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Posted on: 5 November, 2019

The importance of food safety in the home as part of Australian Food Safety Week 2019

Livingstone Food Safety Week stall Yeppoon Central.jpg

As part of Australian Food Safety Week, which runs 9-16 November, Livingstone Shire Council will be holding an information stall in Yeppoon Central from 12 to 14 November to help raise awareness of the importance of safe food handling to avoid illness.

As part of Australian Food Safety Week, which runs 9-16 November, Livingstone Shire Council will be holding an information stall in Yeppoon Central from 12 to 14 November to help raise awareness of the importance of safe food handling to avoid illness.

Food poisoning is a serious health issue, with an estimated 4.1million cases in Australia each year, over 30,000 of which end up in hospital. Livingstone Shire Health Officers will be working the stall with lots of information to help the community understand the risks they potential have in their kitchen.

“Now we all know the simple safety tips – wash your hands, wash your fruit and vegies, use a separate chopping board when you cut up meat – but there are a lot of tips people may not be aware of,” a Council Health Officer said

“We invite the public to come to our stall and ask any questions they have about handling food safety. We also have a number of resources on our Council website, including videos, fact sheets and specific tips for important situations covering how to pack school lunches or what to do in a natural disaster.”

This year the focus of Australian Food Safety Week is on safe handling of eggs, which are a simple, cost effective and nutritious part of our diet but egg shells can be contaminated by Salmonella on the outside when they are laid. This is particularly true for uncooked dishes, sauces and dressings containing raw, or lightly cooked eggs like mousses or fresh mayonnaise. Dishes containing raw eggs as an ingredient, which are not going to be cooked before being eaten, should not be served to vulnerable people such as small children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems, who are at greater risk from food poisoning.

Follow these tips to minimise your risk of food poisoning at home:
• Always wash your hands with soap and running water and dry thoroughly before handling food and keep food utensils and cooking areas clean
• Hot food needs to be kept and served at 60°C or hotter. If you are keeping it warm for someone, put it in the oven at 60°C or at 100°C if that is as low as your oven will go.
• Cook high risk foods such as poultry, minced meat, sausages, hamburgers and leftovers to 75°C
• Unlike most other food poisoning bacteria, Listeria can grow at refrigeration temperatures, so ready to eat food or leftovers should never be stored in the fridge for more than 24 hours. Since Listeria grows slowly in the fridge, it will do so only very slowly at cold temperatures so make sure your refrigerator is keeping your food at or less than 5°C.
• Stop and think about where in the hen an egg comes from. It is always important to follow good hygiene when handling eggs, even when they look clean

For more information on food safety visit the Food Safety Information Council website www.foodsafety.asn.au

Food Safety
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