National Foodsafe Week: ’Tis the season

Published: Thu 8 Nov 2007 02:37 PM
National Foodsafe Week: ’Tis the season
As National Foodsafe Week 2007 gets underway (November 12-19), the Foodsafe Partnership is reminding families that warmer temperatures mean bacteria on food can double in numbers in minutes.
“Luckily, a few simple rules can make or keep food safe, and protect you and your family and friends from spreading bad bugs from hands or kitchen equipment back to food that’s ready to eat. With warmer days already here Kiwis should remember the golden rules of food safety,” says Sandra Daly, NZFSA deputy chief executive.
As warm sunny days become more frequent our thoughts turn to entertaining friends, picnics and barbeques. It’s all too easy to focus on fun and push any thoughts of foodborne illness to the back of our minds, but there’s no better way to spoil a good bash than spend two or three days afterwards suffering from stomach upsets.
“Pathogens (bacteria, parasites and viruses that cause illness) are just like people and love nothing better than warm temperatures. Add a nutritious moist environment like food and with the passage of time they can multiply really quickly.
“Following the 4Cs – clean cook, cover, chill – and the 20+20 hand wash rule (20 seconds wash plus 20 seconds dry = clean hands) are among the most effective ways to ensure we keep our food safe, and stay healthy. When you’re preparing food remember:
clean your hands by washing them with soap and drying with a clean towel
always wash your hands before handling any food and after touching raw meat and poultry, going to the toilet, changing nappies, touching pets and gardening
wash knives and other utensils and scrub chopping boards between preparing raw and cooked food
keep your fridge clean
thoroughly defrost frozen foods before cooking
pre-cook minced meat, sausages and poultry before barbecuing
minced meat and sausages should be cooked right through, and pork and poultry juices should run clear - use a meat thermometer to check temperatures
put leftovers in the fridge as soon as they're cool
reheat leftovers until steaming hot throughout and do not reheat more than once
do not put cooked meat back on the same plate that held raw meat.
always cover stored food - even in the fridge or cupboard
keep raw meat and poultry covered in the bottom of the fridge and away from ready-to-eat food, fruit and vegetables to avoid dripping juices
when cooking or eating outdoors ensure that all food remains covered and cool until ready to cook or eat
remember - the only time your food should be uncovered is when you’re eating it!
bacteria that cause foodborne illness thrive at room temperature - keep food very cold or very hot
ensure your fridge is operating at a temperature of between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius
keep all perishable foods in the fridge until you are ready to use them
a chilly bin is a good way of keeping chilled and frozen products cold when taking them home from the supermarket
while picnicking, keep food cool by using a frozen chilly pad or drink bottle
defrost frozen foods in the fridge
marinate food in the fridge, not on the bench.
Events publicising Foodsafe Week will be running at venues around the country from November 12-19. Toi Te Ora – Public Health will be out in the community actively promoting Foodsafe Week, at the following locations:
Mon Nov 12 Rotorua Pak ‘N Save
Tue Nov 13 Tauranga Pak ‘N Save
Te Puke Main St (Bank, next to Mitre 10)
Wed Nov 14 Taupo Pak ‘N Save
Kawerau New World
Thu Nov 15 Turangi New World
Edgecumbe Supervalue
Fri Nov 16 Whakatane (The Strand, by ASB Bank)
Mon Nov 19 Opotiki Main St
And look out too for our TV advertising campaign featuring our mascot Foodsafe Freddie.

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