Employee Development Co-ordinator, Contemporary Catering
Australian Food Safety Week 2017, held from 11th – 18th November, has announced that the theme will be ‘Is it done yet? Use a thermometer for great food, cooked safely every time’.
The cases of food poisoning have been increasing in recent years, with the frozen berries Hepatitis A crisis in 2016 highlighting that it is not always a result of common culprits such as raw poultry or eggs. In Australia alone, an average of 4.1 million people get food poisoning every year. Of these 1 million need to visit a doctor while 32,000 people end up in hospital with 86 of those people dying.
The Australian Food Safety Week aims to reduce this number by encouraging the Australian and New Zealand Food Ministerial Forum to prioritise reducing foodborne illness and raise awareness of the escalating cases of Campylobacter and Salmonella infection in Australia.
“Australian Food Safety Week is the major activity of the Food Safety Information Council and plays a vital role in reducing the cases of food poisoning in the Australian community. Educating people to purchase a food thermometer for their home kitchen and to learn how to use it correctly to cook food safely will contribute to a reduction in food poisoning,” explained Food Safety Information Council Chair Rachelle Williams.
The 2016 Food Safety Week successfully spread information regarding foodborne illnesses reaching a total audience 5,112,659 between November 2016 and January 2017 through a variety of mediums. This years Food Safety Week hopes to continue to raise awareness with a downloadable package of material such as an online quiz and safe cooking temperature advice graphics.