Christmas is a great reason to eat all of the food, but you must take care when preparing food don’t slacken off on food safety.
New South Wales Health is warning us to be wary of food poisoning, especially Salmonella, as summer temps rise during the festive season.
How Do I Prevent It?
· Do: Prepare and handle food in a clean environment, making sure benches and utensils are washed and dried before use.
· Do: Cook your food thoroughly to kill off any bacteria.
· Do: Keep refrigerated food at under five degrees Celsius
· Do: Keep hot food at above 60 degrees Celsius.
· Don't: Let raw food come into contact with cooked food.
· Don't: Leave food out in the heat for too long. No abandoned prawn or chicken wing is worth the risk!
What Foods Are The Worst Offenders?
Foods made with undercooked eggs are the most common source of outbreaks in NSW, so be careful if you plan to make any "experimental" desserts, and cook your eggs thoroughly. Home-made salad dressings such as mayonnaise or aioli can be hazardous. Dr Sheppeard said cooking food thoroughly kills the bacteria.
The longer food is left at room temperature the more the Salmonella bacteria will multiply, and food should not be left out in the heat.
NSW Food Authority CEO Dr Lisa Szabo said using commercially produced products instead of handmade mayonnaise and sauces when preparing food also reduced the risk of Salmonella poisoning.
"It is also much safer to use commercially pasteurised eggs rather than raw eggs in ready-to-eat products such as desserts and dressings," Dr Szabo said.
Chicken is also a high risk food, so try to get it eaten within the first couple of hours of being out of the oven, put it in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
There can even be a risk of Salmonella on salads and fresh fruit and veg, so wash them carefully before preparing them.
CFT QLD offers food handler and food safety supervisor training by correspondence or online, please contact our office 1300 775 155 or check out our website https://www.cftqld.com.au/food-safety-supervisor-training