21 Dec, 2015

Make Sure Your Festive Season Is Also Food Safety Season

City of Adelaide Environmental Health Team are experts in food safety and have prepared an information sheet to help people enjoy the festive season by ensuring their food cooking and storage practices meet with approved standards.

With approximately 4.1 million cases of food borne illness in Australia each year, food poisoning can be unpleasant and for some can cause serious health problems. Food poisoning is caused by poor food hygiene practices and often leads to vomiting and diarrhoea, symptoms similar to those of common viruses.

People planning to entertain guests this festive season can use these tips from City of Adelaide’s Environmental Health Officers to help avoid food poisoning at home this summer.

Avoid the temperature dangerzone – keep cold food cold and hot food hot!

  • The safe temperatures for food storage are below 5°C or above 60°C - storing food within this temperature dangerzone could result in the food becoming unsafe
  • Keep any perishable food in the fridge until required (e.g. keep meat in the fridge until you are ready to place it on the barbecue)
  • Serve small quantities of food and replenish with fresh portions as required
  • Cover raw and cooked food to protect it from flies and other insects

Avoid Cross contamination

  • The juices from uncooked meat and poultry can contaminate cooked food and make you sick
  • Ensure plenty of clean utensils and platters are on hand
  • If you use a cutting board to prepare raw meat or poultry, be sure to wash it thoroughly before reusing it to prepare vegetables or cooked foods
  • Use separate cutting boards and platters to keep raw meats and poultry items separate from vegetables and cooked foods
  • Always store raw meats below ready-to-eat foods in the fridge

Wash your Hands

  • Hand washing is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent food poisoning, food contamination and spread of disease
  • Always wash your hands with soap, warm water and thoroughly dry them before handling or preparing food
  • Wash your hands at any time during food preparation when your hands may contaminate food or contact food surfaces

What to do if you do get sick?

  • If you suffer from symptoms of food poisoning it is important to see your doctor
  • Drink plenty of water to stay as hydrated as possible - in warmer weather this is critical for children and the elderly
  • Refrain from handling food and if you work in a food business do not go to work until you are given the all clear from your doctor
  • Food poisoning and gastro illnesses are very contagious - thorough and frequent hand washing is very important to prevent the spread of illness

For more information about food safety within the home, please visit the Environmental Health Services website at cityofadelaide.com.au/health

For more information