The Food Safety Information Council is kicking off Australian Food Safety Week 2020 by urging everyone, especially younger Australians, to take food safety into their hands and do some basic food safety training.
Cathy Moir, Council Chair, said that 2020 has been a turbulent year for all of us with the COVID-19 pandemic and, as we move towards the ‘new normal’, we would like everyone to take the opportunity to learn more about the science behind food safety so we can reduce the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning each year.
‘We handle food for ourselves and others every day so food safety knowledge is an essential life skill, similar to having a driving licence or a first aid certificate. To help everyone to learn more about food safety we are offering an affordable, online Food Safety Essentials course that explains the food safety basics simply and easily.
‘In particular we would like younger people to take this course especially as our consumer research shows poorer food safety among younger people. For example, our recent Omnipoll national handwashing survey found only 75% of respondents between 18 and 34 years said they always washed their hands after going to the toilet (compared with 89% of over 50s) and only 55% of respondents between 18 and 34 years said they always washed their hands before handling food (compared with 61% of over 50s). This is a concern as young people often work as food handlers either as a full time or part time job, may be more likely to have small children who are more susceptible to food poisoning or have jobs caring for vulnerable groups in the child, aged care and disability sectors.
‘The course which takes no more than an hour in total and provides a food safety certificate at the end. A basic food safety certificate can be really useful for the start of a range of careers ranging from working in a café, training to be a chef, being a health care professional or in a range of child, disability and aged care work. You will also need these food safety skills if you want to develop your newly developed culinary skills into a business, help at the school canteen or even run a community sausage sizzle.
‘We have always wanted to develop material for schools and get many requests for presentations throughout the year. A school version of this course is also available with teaching aids. It would be great to see this training material introduced in all high schools to upskill young Australians with food safety life skills to prepare them for the future.
‘There is an added bonus, if you complete the course successfully by 31 December 2020 you can enter our competition to win one of 10 Bunnings vouchers valued at $50. The school who completes the greatest number of courses by the end of term 2020 will win a $200 voucher from Officeworks. You can access the courses and competitions at https://foodsafety.asn.au/food-safety-training/
‘The courses are endorsed by Environmental Health Australia and has been adapted for Australia from the award-winning international training organisation Highfield e-learning.
The Food Safety Information Council is a health promotion charity, and we are pleased that Highfield e-learning will be making a charitable donation of 10% of sales to help us keep our important work going.,’ Ms Moir concluded.
Australian Food Safety Week sees the start of the Food Safety Information Council’s Summer campaign with TV and radio community service announcements and an indigenous radio campaign running throughout the Summer. A community package including downloadable posters and a quiz is available from our website for those that want to run an event during the week find out more https://foodsafety.asn.au/australian-food-safety-week-2020/
The Food Safety Information Council would like to thank our member Highfield e-learning for their charitable donation to run Australian Food Safety Week. Also, thanks to our members Ecolab and Accord Australasia for their charitable donation to fund our handwashing research and Australian Pasteurised Eggs and other individual donors for their charitable donation towards our Indigenous Campaign. We also acknowledge the partnership with Omnipoll for our consumer research and Media Heads our creative agency.
Lydia Buchtmann, Food Safety Information Council, 0407 626 688 or firstname.lastname@example.org