Every year there are an estimated 119,000 cases of foodborne illness in New Zealand. The most common causes are the bacteria Salmonella or Campylobacter which multiply very quickly in moist, warm conditions and can cause some very unpleasant to symptoms similar to a gastro-flu which can affect the sufferer for over a week!
Most foodborne illness is a result of poor food handling practices and by following a few simple rules you can help your friends and family stay illness free this Summer and Holiday period.
The Four C's
Always wash your hands with soap and dry with a clean towel before handling food. It is especially important after:
- handling raw meat & poultry
- going to the toilet
- handling pets
- hanging nappies
Wash knives & utensils & scrub chopping boards between preparation of different foods.
Keep your fridge clean.
Defrost frozen food completely before cooking.
Use one set of utensils for raw food & one set for cooked food.
Eat cooked food as soon as possible after it has been cooked.
Never leave cooked food to cool on the bench for more than 2 hours before putting it in the fridge.
Keep all foods covered in the fridge or outdoors.
Keep raw meat covered and stored away from fresh vegetables & cooked food.
Ensure your fridge at the recommended temperature of between 1°C - 4°C for storing safe food.
Keep all perishable foods in the fridge until you are ready to use them.
Use a chilly bin when transporting fresh foods home from the supermarket.
Keep food cool with an ice pack & chilly bin at picnics.