In the lead up to Australian Food Safety Week, 13 to 20 November 2021, Hawkesbury City Council is urging local consumers to reduce their risk of food borne illness by being prepared.
Council works in partnership with the NSW Food Authority to ensure that food sold in retail outlets is safe for human consumption.
This year’s theme ‘Food safety – be prepared’ is aimed at encouraging community members to set up a basic food safety toolkit and engage with food safety courses.
When preparing for natural disasters, such as bushfires, floods and major power outages, community members are also encouraged to put together a simple food safety toolbox using four simple steps.
Buy accurate digital thermometers. Next time you are at the shops, or shop online, purchase a fridge thermometer and a digital probe thermometer. They are available from kitchenware, hardware and BBQ/outdoor stores.
Check your fridge temperature. Use your fridge thermometer to check your fridge is running at 5°C or below to stop the growth of most food spoiling/poisoning bacteria and reduce food waste. ‘Use by’ dates on refrigerated food only apply if your fridge is running at or below this temperature. Place the thermometer on a lower shelf where you can easily read it. When checking the temperature, do not keep the fridge door open too long as you are measuring air temperature.
Use your cooking/meat thermometer. It won’t do any good if your thermometer never leaves your kitchen drawer! Use it to check that high risk foods such as poultry, mince, sausages, hamburger patties, liver, leftovers and rolled roasts reach at least 75°C in the centre. Egg dishes need to be at least 72 °C in the centre (or until the white is firm and the yolk thickens).
Take a food safety course. We would love to see everyone in the community take a basic food safety course and learn more about food safety. This will help keep you and your family safer and open up job opportunities for some people as food handlers in cafes and restaurants or in the child care, aged care and disability sectors. 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. You can find out more at https://foodsafety.asn.au/food-safety-training
You can also learn more about food safety and test your knowledge and take the food safety quiz on the Food Safety Information Council website foodsafety.asn.au
Go to hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/for-business/public-health/food to find out more at about food safety on Council’s website.