Fend off food-borne illness this festive season

Date published: 6 December 2021

Between cold prawns, warm ham, indulgent puddings and cheese-laden grazing boards, it’s hard to know where to start with food safety during the festive season.

That’s why Council is urging residents to memorise a few simple tips and tricks to keep food poisoning at bay this Christmas.

Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said food safety was easier than most people realised.

“Food safety uses a bit of common sense and a few good storage practices that will help prevent sickness from spoilt food in your home,” he said.

“Two important temperatures to remember are 5C and 60C – anywhere between these two temperatures is where bad bacteria can start growing.

“To make sure you’re avoiding food poisoning make sure your hot foods are cooked or heated above 60C and your cold foods are kept chilled below 5C.”

Cr Soars said the way food was stored was also important.

“When you cool cooked food, separate it into smaller containers to allow it to cool quicker. Make sure those containers are placed in your fridge within two hours and always make sure your food is kept covered in your fridge,” he said.

“Covering your food helps to prevent cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods.

“Make sure you’re not over-packing your fridge - use an esky and ice if you have excess food that you need to keep cold.

“If you have food sitting out, make sure it’s put back in your fridge within two hours. If you have food that has been sitting out for four hours you should throw it out to prevent food-borne illness.”