Food poisoning – it’s in your hands
Food poisoning is more than just a minor stomach upset – sometimes it can be life-threatening, especially for the elderly, pregnant women and their unborn babies and people with compromised immune systems. This Australian Food Safety Week (November 14-21) is a good opportunity for you to build upon those super-clean behaviours you established at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. By following some simple food safety tips, you can reduce the risk of you, your family or your dinner guests developing a foodborne illness.
Wash your hands with soap and running water before handling food and between handling raw foods and ready-to-eat foods. Wash up regularly, especially items which have been used for raw meat and poultry, and keep kitchen surfaces and your fridge clean.
Keep your fridge at 5°C or below, refrigerate any leftovers as soon as they’ve stopped steaming and use within 2-3 days (or within one day for people at higher risk of foodborne illness) or freeze them immediately.
Use a meat thermometer and cook poultry, sausages, minced or stuffed meat dishes to 75°C in the centre. Be aware of the risk of raw or minimally cooked egg dishes or look for pasteurised or smoked eggs. Always follow any cooking instructions on your food packages. And remember that microwave ovens can cook unevenly, so make sure you follow the recommended stirring and standing times before serving.
Prevent cross contamination – especially between raw meat, seafood, fish or poultry and ready-to-eat foods like cooked meats, desserts and salads.
Don’t cook for others if you have gastro or feel unwell – you could make them sick, too. Instead, ask someone else to cook or get a takeaway.