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Summer Food Safety Tips


food safety law

As we approach Christmas, the last thing we want is to suffer from food poisoning. However, at this time of year, it is common for people to suffer, as food is in the heat and being placed in and out of refrigeration. Here are our tips to help you avoid food poisoning this Christmas.

  1. Set your fridge to 5oC and your freezer to 15oC – It is important to keep your fridge cool when it is being opened and closed. If you are using an Esky, stock it with ice and cooler packs. Place things like meat and salads at the bottom to keep them cold.
  2. Keep hot food hot – Make sure all hot food stays around 60oC and if reheating, make sure they are steaming or boiling.
  3. Don’t leave hot foods to completely cool before refrigerating – Place in the fridge as soon as they stop steaming.
  4. Don’t use the same chopping board for everything – colour coded chopping boards are great for preventing the contamination of food.
  5. Thaw frozen food thoroughly – Unless manufactured to be cooked from frozen. Check the packet.
  6. Rinse your fresh fruit and vegetables – Even those that require the skin to be removed.
  7. Wash – Always wash your hands, cutlery, utensils and kitchen.
  8. If in doubt, throw it out – You always have a lot of leftovers at Christmas. If you are unsure if it can be eaten, don’t risk food poisoning.
Common food poisoning culprits
  • Leafy greens from being washed in dirty water or not at all. Always wash.
  • Eggs can carry salmonella when uncooked. Avoid easting raw and in cake mixes.
  • Meat and fish being undercooked and stored incorrectly
  • Tuna can be contaminated by scombrotoxin, which causes flushing, headaches, and cramps. Always refrigerate.
  • Oysters feed by filtering the ocean, therefore, if the ocean is contaminated, so it the oyster. Be careful where you purchase oysters or cook them.
  • Cheese can be contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella or Listeria, which can cause miscarriages.
  • Berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries can contain chemicals and other bacteria. Always wash.
  • Raw milk hasn't been pasteurized or heated to kill bacteria and can contain Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. coli.
If you do receive food poisoning from a restaurant or shop this Christmas, you may be eligible for compensation. In Queensland, Under the Food Act 2006, those who breach their obligations of providing safe food from an uncontaminated environment may face a $110,000 fine or 2 years’ jail. Those affected may also receive compensation to cover medical treatment and financial support for loss of work.

Written by Shine Lawyers on December 22, 2015. Last modified: September 6, 2018.

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