Food Safety Week - avoid food poisoning from raw and risky foods

Published on 04 November 2016

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Rockhampton Region residents are urged not to become one of the estimated 4.1 million people who develop food poisoning in Australia.

Councillor Ellen Smith, Chair of the Planning and Regulatory Committee, said raw and risky foods will be the focus of this year’s Australian Food Safety Week from the 6 November to 12 November.

“Food poisoning outbreaks have been linked to raw foods such as raw eggs, bean/seed sprouts, frozen berries and lettuce, so during Food Safety Week we’ll be hosting an information display at Stockland Shopping Centre with handy tips on food preparation and safety,” Cr Smith said.

According to the Food Safety Information Council, an estimated 1 million Australians have to visit a doctor with food poisoning each year, 32,000 people end up in hospital and 86 people die.

“Raw foods can be contaminated with bacteria and viruses in many ways from food handlers’ unwashed hands, from the soil, compost or dirty irrigation water to dirty kitchen equipment and by contact with other contaminated food. It’s very important to be aware of the risks associated with eating some raw foods and what you can do about it.”

You can reduce your raw food risk by following these simple tips:

  • Don’t use any cracked eggs in raw eggs dishes such as egg nog, uncooked desserts such as mousses and tiramisu, hollandaise sauces, fresh mayonnaise, aioli, health shakes with added raw egg or steak tartare. Either discard the cracked eggs or save them for a dish like a cake that will be thoroughly cooked. Prepare any raw egg dish as close as possible to consuming and refrigerate at or below 5°C
  • Don’t wash eggs from your backyard chooks as it spreads bacteria around your kitchen. Use a paper towel or brush to remove as much visible dirt as possible and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Once again it’s best not to use them in raw egg dishes.
  • Don’t eat undercooked dishes including minced meat, such as in hamburgers and sausages, liver (including liver paté), stuffed or rolled roasts or poultry. Cook these foods all the way through to 75°C to kill any bacteria inside.
  • Don’t let juices from raw meat or poultry contaminate other foods that won’t be cooked like salads or desserts. Use separate chopping boards for raw meat and salad veggies, cover raw meat and poultry in the fridge.
  • Reduce your risk of food poisoning by washing your fruit and veggies under running water and dry with a paper towel just before eating.

What: Join Council’s Environment and Public Health team for National Food Safety Week

When: Wednesday 9 November 2016

Where: Stockland Shopping Centre outside JB HI FI

For more information and tips on food safety go to www.foodsafety.asn.au/australian-food-safety-week-2016