Stay Food Safe this Summer

8 January 2013

Summer weather might be great for us, but it's even better for food bugs. In warm, moist conditions, you need to take extra care when preparing, cooking and storing food. You and your family can beat the bugs and stay food safe by following a few simple rules - clean, cook, chill.

Clean

- Always wash your hands before handling food, after handling raw meat and poultry, after going to the toilet or changing nappies, after handling pets and after gardening.

- Follow the 20+20 hand washing rule - wash for 20 seconds with soap and hot water then dry 20 seconds with a clean dry towel or paper towel.

- Before you handle food, make sure all surfaces and equipment are clean.


Cook

  • Defrost frozen foods in the fridge before cooking, not on your bench top.
  • Cool hot foods, covered, for no more than 30 minutes before refrigerating.
  • Reheat leftovers once only until steaming hot throughout.
  • Pre-cook chicken, meat patties and sausages before barbecuing.
  • Cook meat thoroughly until the juices run clear and there is no pink flesh.
  • Place cooked items on a clean plate, not one already used for raw meat.

Chill

  • Keep food very cold or very hot - bugs thrive at room temperature.
  • Use a chilly bin and ice packs when taking chilled products home from the supermarket.
  • Put a frozen chilly pad with your picnic food.
  • Defrost meat and poultry thoroughly before cooking.
  • Cover perishable food before storing it in the cupboard or fridge.
  • Cover and refrigerate or chill leftovers as soon as possible after cooking.
  • Throw out perishable food that you have left at room temperature for more than two hours.

For more information about food safety, visit:

Food Smart - Ministry for Primary Industries website