Food preparation and storage in the spotlight

Date published: 8 November 2016

Townsville City Council is using National Food Safety Week this week to remind residents to be careful with food preparation and storage in the lead up to summer.

Community Health and Environment committee chair Cr Ann-Maree Greaney said there were an estimated 4.1 million cases of reported gastroenteritis in Australia annually costing an estimated $1.2 billion per year.

“Food poisoning is a terrible experience, so it pays to be extra careful with high risk foods such as those that contain meat, dairy, seafood and egg products,” Cr Greaney said.

“This time of year when the weather gets warmer food can go off faster and we’re often eating outdoors at barbecues and picnics, so it’s vital people plan their food storage to ensure food that needs to remain cold, is kept cold and handled appropriately.”

Cr Greaney said council’s Environmental Health Officers urged residents to follow a few basic rules.

“After cooking, any leftover food should be placed in the fridge or freezer as soon as it’s stopped steaming,” Cr Greaney said.

“If you’re taking food on a picnic, keep high risk foods in an esky with ice, and if you’re eating outdoors, throw away any food that’s been out of the fridge for more than four hours.

“Left-overs should only be kept in the fridge for a couple of days, and then you should follow the rule that says ‘if in doubt – throw it out!”.

Council advises residents to consult a doctor if food poisoning occurs.

More food safety tips can be found at council’s website at