Practice food safety this Christmas

No one wants to be “driving the porcelain bus”, “calling for Ralph” or having a “technicoloured yawn” this Christmas.

Christmas is a time for family, food and fun – not being sick!

However, cooking for a large group of people on Christmas can be a recipe for disaster if the right food preparations aren’t taken.

According to the Food Safety Information Council, there are about 4.1million cases of food poisoning that occur in Australia each year.

Cr Justin Englert said the risk of food poisoning increased at Christmas time.

“Our warm, humid summers are the ideal breeding ground for bacteria,” he said.  “At Christmas, food is often left out longer than it should be and fridges are overstocked and struggle to keep food at the right temperature.

“Meat, eggs and dairy-based desserts are ideal carriers for bacteria and a great amount of care should be taken in its storage, preparation and reuse. Any Christmas leftovers should be refrigerated and used within two to three days.”

To ensure your holidays are an enjoyable and memorable part of the year, council is reminding residents of five food safety tips.

  1. Prepare food as close as possible to the eating time and make sure there is enough space in the refrigerator to keep cold food at 5°C or lower.
  2. Refrigerate leftovers immediately after the meal and use within two to three days.
  3. Ensure you maintain good hygiene at all times when handling food to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.
  4. Regularly wash your hands with soap and water, particularly after handling raw meat or other potentially hazardous foods.
  5. Use different cutting boards for each food type, such as meat, seafood and vegetables and salads.

For more information and some great food safety tips, visit foodsafety.asn.au