The Food Safety Information Council is a health promotion charity and a national voice for science-based, consumer-focused food safety information in Australia. We aim to address the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia that result in 31,920 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to doctors on average every year.
Clean hands will decrease the possibility of food poisoning and other diseases markedly.
Remember the 20/20 rule: wash hands for 20 seconds with warm soapy water dry hands for 20 seconds before starting to cook repeat frequently especially after handling raw meats, or vegetables with visible soil. Wash utensils and cutting boards with soap and warm water, and dry thoroughly, before handling different sorts of foods. This is particularly important when dealing with raw meats and vegetables.
As soon as possible after purchase meat, poultry, dairy foods, vegetables, salad ingredients, etc should be refrigerated at or below 5ºC. Sounds easy but often food is left in hot cars or put in refrigerators that are not cold enough. A fridge thermometer should be used to make sure the temperature is at or below 5ºC. The temperature should be adjusted in line with changing seasons and the amount stored. Refrigerate leftovers promptly. Cooked food should be stored in covered containers and either put in the fridge to cool, or frozen immediately. Frozen foods should be defrosted in the fridge NOT on the kitchen bench. If in doubt, throw it out!
Cook chicken, minced or boned meats, hamburger, stuffed meats and sausages right through until they reach 75°C using a meat thermometer. Serve hot food steaming hot above 60ºC. Defrost frozen poultry and rolled and stuffed meats thoroughly before cooking. Always follow cooking instructions on packaged foods.
To avoid cross contamination keep raw and cooked foods separate when storing and preparing. Food should be stored in covered containers in the fridge and put raw meats and poultry in the bottom of the fridge so the juices don’t contaminate food on lower shelves. Don’t put cooked meat back on the plate the raw meat was on.
The Food Safety Information Council is a health promotion charity. Each year we provide information to thousands of Australians, run education campaigns and conduct consumer research. Generous donations from individuals like you make possible the work we do in reducing the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year.
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