Make food safety a top priority this Christmas

Date published: 21 December 2020

Food safety needs to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds as Christmas fast approaches.

Townsville City Council is urging residents to be mindful of good food practices in their home to prevent their family and friends from becoming ill this Christmas.

Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Margie Ryder said summer months posed especially high food risks, as friends and families gather to celebrate the silly season.

“Many food poisoning cases can be avoided if some simple food safety practices are followed in the home,” Cr Ryder said.

“Simple storage practices can make all the difference to your health. Bad bacteria grows best at temperatures between 5C and 60C, so residents need to make sure that hot foods are cooked or heated above 60C and cold foods are kept chilled below 5C.

“When cooling cooked food, separate into smaller containers to allow it to cool quicker, making sure the containers are placed within your fridge within two hours. Always ensure that your food is kept covered and protected in your fridge to prevent cross contamination between raw and cooked foods.”

Cr Ryder said it was also important to make sure you had enough space to store food during Christmas and the new year.

“It’s an easy mistake to overpack your fridge during Christmas, which is why it’s important to have eskies and ice on hand to keep your excess food cold,” she said.

“When you have food out, make sure it gets put back into your fridge by the two hour mark. You must throw out any food that has been left out for four hours.”