It’s Australian Food Safety Week from 11-18 November 2017 and the Department of Health’s Central Australia Environmental Health Services are urging local consumers to exercise good food safety practices, including proper food storage and preparation and to use a food thermometer to ensure food is properly cooked.
“A Food Safety Information Council survey has found that 75 per cent of Australians surveyed reported that there wasn’t a food thermometer in their household and only 44 per cent of those with a thermometer reported using it over the previous month,” Environmental Health Officer Hannah Freemantle said.
It is estimated there are more than four million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year that result in up to 32,000 people being hospitalised and more than one million people visiting their doctor.
“There are also escalating rates of Campylobacter and Salmonella infection, which are particularly linked to inadequate cooking of poultry and egg dishes,” Ms Fremantle said.
“We are encouraging all Central Australians to pick up a food thermometer from their local homeware store and learn how to use it properly. This will not only ensure food safety but you will also be able to cook the perfect piece of meat.”
There are four simple ways to use a food thermometer:
1. Follow any instructions on the thermometer’s packaging.
2. Place the food thermometer in the thickest part of the food and as close to the centre as possible but it should not touch bone, fat, or gristle.
3. Start checking the temperature toward the end of cooking process, but before the food is expected to be done.
4. Be sure to clean the stem of the food thermometer before and after each use.
A list of the correct cooking temperatures and an informative food safety quiz can be found on the Food Safety Information Council website.
The Department of Health’s Environmental Health Officers will have a food safety stall at Alice Plaza on Tuesday 14 November 2017 from 10am to 1pm and at the Yeperenye Shopping Centre on Thursday 16 November 2017 from 10am to 1pm. There will also be free Food Safety Week training sessions on Monday 13 November 2017, Wednesday 15 November 2017 and Friday 17 November 2017. Please call 8955 6122 for more information.
Source: NT Government