OUTDOOR DINING IS NOW SMOKE-FREE

From 1 August 2017, smoking at Victorian venues will be banned:

  • in outdoor areas at hospitality and food venues used for eating food. This includes footpath dining areas, courtyards and beer gardens during times food is being eaten, or is available to be eaten
  • in all outdoor areas at food fairs. A food fair is an event where the principal activity is the supply of food for consumption at the event
  • within 10 metres of a food stall or food vendor at organised outdoor event (other than a food fair).

To complement smoke-free outdoor dining, smoking is banned in an outdoor drinking area if any part of that area is within 4 metres of an outdoor dining area, unless separated by a wall of at least 2.1 metres high. This means the two areas can be separated by either:

  • a 4 metre buffer zone; or
  • a wall of at least 2.1 metres high.

If the separation requirement is not met, smoking is banned in an outdoor drinking area. This law applies to the same venue as well as to neighbouring venues.

For more information about these reforms and to obtain your “No Smoking” signage, please visit –

https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/tobacco-reform/smoke-free-areas/outdoor-dining

W.A. Food Poisoning Link to Eggs

There has been an “Egg Alert” issued in Western Australia as cases of salmonella food poisoning have surged x4 the usual number. This has been associated with eggs.

The WA Health Department has advised people to avoid eating raw or runny eggs after seeing a surge in salmonella food poisoning that has been associated with eggs.

People are being warned to stay clear of cracked or dirty eggs and to wash and dry hands properly.

Click the link to view the full article –

 

https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/food-poisoning-link-to-eggs-ng-b88500374z

If you work in an area where you are handling food, particularly containing eggs, contact www.cft.com.au to ensure you are fully aware of your responsibilities to ensure food safety.

NSW sick eggs decline

NSW cases of salmonella relating to raw eggs might be on the decline but what about the rest of Australia?  Did you know that Australia has one of the highest rates of Salmonellosis (human illness) in the world.

Research by the NSW Food Authority shows that Salmonella Typhimurium has been the dominant subtype of Salmonella poisoning across Australia, typically accounting for over half of all salmonellosis cases up to 2014.  Commonly found on farms and linked to many raw egg outbreaks Salmonella Typhimurium cases appear to be on the decline with a higher decrease in salmonella cases than other states.  However the overall number of salmonella cases is still trending up.  The is recent data from NSW Health.

There are several factors which have likely contributed to such a large decline in NSW. These include:
• A commitment and a focus from all industry sectors and NSW DPI Biosecurity and Food Safety to work together to see a reduction in salmonellosis cases
• Development of the NSW Food Authority Food Safety Guidelines for the Preparation of Raw Egg Products
• Adopting a tough approach on raw egg products
• Training for local government EHOs in raw egg guidelines and enforcement, and
• Revamped Food Safety Supervisor modules focussing on raw egg products and cleaning and sanitising.

While this is positive news regarding S. Typhimurium, unfortunately other types of  salmonella are still on the increase. NSW has a target to reduce foodborne illness by 30% by the year 2021.

Perhaps the rest of the country can jump on board and develop initiatives, like NSW Food Authority have, including a requirement for Food Safety Supervisor modules to focus on raw egg products and for these modules to be refreshed every 5 years.

Do you need to refresh your training? visit www.cft.com.au for more info.

To read the full article visit –

http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/_Documents/newsletters/foodwise_issue_43_May_2017.pdf

 

 

 

Go vegetarian to lose weight says researchers

Vegetarian diets are almost twice as effective at helping you lose weight a study has found.

Published online by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers discovered those on a vegetarian diet lost weight more effectively than those just on a low-calorie diet.

After studying 74 individuals who all had type 2 diabetes, those who followed the vegetarian diet lost an average of 6.2 kilograms across the course of the study.

Those on the low-calorie, non-vegetarian diet only lost an average of 3.2 kilograms each.

Both diets required participants eat 500 kilocalories a day less than they normally would. The only animal product the vegetarian diet allowed for was one low-fat tub of yoghurt per day.

The study further found the vegetarian diet was more effective at reducing muscle fat and increasing metabolism.

Researcher, Dr Hana Kahleova, said this finding was particularly important for those with type 2 diabetes as an increase in metabolism could possibly equal an increase in glucose metabolism.

“Vegetarian diets proved to be the most effective diets for weight loss,” Dr Kahleova said.

“However, we also showed that a vegetarian diet is much more effective at reducing muscle fat, thus improving metabolism. This finding is important for people who are trying to lose weight, including those suffering from metabolic syndrome and/or type 2 diabetes. But it is also relevant to anyone who takes their weight management seriously and wants to stay lean and healthy,” she said.

source: http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au

To read full article and links – http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/2017/06/14/go-vegetarian-to-lose-weight-says-researchers.html

Bad Bugs In Winter Food

Today marks the start of winter and Australians are being warned about the risks of food poisoning from winter foods like casseroles and soups.

Chair of the Food Safety Council, Rachelle Williams, said “although many people associate food poisoning with hot weather, Australians need to be wary of the dangers in cooking big winter meals like casseroles.”

“Cooking in bulk is cost effective, saves time and reduces food waste,” Williams said.

“However, we need to be extra careful handling these large amounts of food because, if they are left to cool slowly, bacteria can grow and produce dangerous toxins that won’t be destroyed by further cooking,” she said.

The Food Safety Council suggests dividing hot food into smaller portions and to refrigerate or freeze the food as soon as it stops steaming.

“Refrigerated leftovers should be used or frozen within 2 to 3 days,” says Williams.

“They will keep several months in the freezer. When reheating food ensure that it is hot all the way through, follow any microwave instructions to stir it or leave it to stand and use a thermometer to ensure it is at least 75°C in the centre,” she said.

The Council has also warned Australians using slow cookers to always follow instructions and make sure food is held at 60°C or above.

To minimize the risks of serving food poisoning to your customers you should ensure your food safety training is up to date.  Visit http://www.cft.com.au to enrol for your training.

 

image source: Google

Allergen labelling a life and death matter – reminder to food businesses

(The following article has been reproduced with permission of Food Standards Australia New Zealand).

Yesterday Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) announced a month-long campaign aimed at reminding food businesses about the need to get allergen labelling right.  

FSANZ Acting Chief Executive Officer Peter May said the campaign was timed to coincide with Australia’s Food Allergy Week (May 14‒20). 

“Food businesses in Australia and New Zealand need to be across the mandatory allergen labelling requirements in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code,” Mr May said. 

“Correct allergen labelling can mean the difference between life and death for people with food allergies so it is vital that food businesses meet labelling requirements.  

“There are currently nine foods which must be declared whenever they are present as ingredients or as components of food additives or processing aids. Lupins are expected to be added to the list this month. 

“If the food is not in a package or is not required to have a label (for example, food prepared at and sold from a takeaway shop), this information must either be displayed in connection with the food or provided to the purchaser if requested.” 

Mr May said FSANZ would be running a social media and media outreach campaign for one month to educate food businesses about the importance of allergen labelling.  

“FSANZ supports the important work of Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia and its New Zealand counterpart —Allergy New Zealand—in raising awareness about food allergies. Both these organisations also provide important input to allergen-related work undertaken by FSANZ.” 

More information  

Read about Food Allergy Week 

Information about allergen labelling  

Video – FSANZ CEO Mark Booth talks about mandatory allergen labelling 

New Food Labels for Australian Products

From 1 July 2018, a new food labeling scheme will be introduced to assist consumers choosing Australian products.  The labels will use a bar chart to show what percentage of the item was made locally.

Fruits and vegetables, nuts, spices, fish and meat will all require to display the labels.

Some products, including confectionery, snack foods, soft drinks, bottled water and tea and coffee, will be exempt from the changes.

Imported products will also be clearly identified.

 

“Customers can see whether the product was made in Australia, what proportion of the ingredients were Australian, and they can see that straight away when making their purchase decisions,” Martin Squire from the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science told 9NEWS.

“(It gives) a bit more influence for the people with the spending power to choose locally grown produce,” David Jochinke from the Victorian Farmers Federation said.

To read more visit:  http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/04/26/18/41/made-in-australia-food-labelling-shows-shoppers-detailed-origin-of-products

image: Google

Keeping Easter Eggs Safe!

Now that Easter is upon us, here are some tips to keep those Easter Eggs safe to eat and enjoy –

* Wash your hands thoroughly with hot soapy water and rinse them before handling the eggs when cooking, cooling, dyeing and hiding them.
* Inspect the eggs well before purchasing them, making sure they are not dirty or cracked. Dangerous bacteria may enter a cracked egg.
* Remember to avoid cross-contamination by keeping kitchen surfaces and equipment clean and using separate knifes and cutting boards for different foods.
* Store eggs in their original cartons in the refrigerator rather than the refrigerator door.
* If you’re having an Easter egg hunt, consider hiding places carefully.
* As long as the eggs are NOT out of refrigeration over two hours, they will be safe to eat. Do not eat eggs that have been out of refrigeration more than two hours.
* Refrigerate hard-cooked eggs in their shells and use them within 1 week.
* Use only food-safe dyes on Easter eggs.
* If you are planning to use colored eggs as decorations, where the eggs will be out of refrigeration for many hours or several days, discard them after they have served their decorative purpose.

And most of all, have a safe and happy Easter!

(image: Google)

Bad eggs likely cause of Vic outbreak

A bad batch of eggs is being blamed for a food poisoning outbreak at a Melbourne cafe that affected 25 customers.

The salmonella outbreak occurred at the Food Republic cafe in Blackburn on March 18 after the Department of Health and Human Services linked a number of sick people to the cafe.
DHHS spokesman Bram Alexander said the department could not confirm eggs were the culprit as swabs and food samples have since shown no traces of salmonella in the cafe.
“We are not ruling any food in or any food out” Mr Alexander told AAP.
Food Republic co-owner Vanessa Lekkas says she believes the cause of the food poisoning outbreak was from a “bad batch” of eggs they whipped into raw products such as mayonnaise.  

To read the full article click the link –

http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/bad-eggs-likely-cause-of-vic-outbreak/news-story/1bf9b90d93bc60776b3d1eb8abcb36b3

 

Food Safety In An Emergency

As our northern cousins in Queensland are being battered by the aggressive Cyclone Debbie it is timely to discuss the importance of Food Safety In An Emergency.  Once the cyclone has died down (literally) and business as usual returns, people still need to eat.  Do you know what to keep and what to throw away?  Here is an important guide released by Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

There are a few things to remember before, during and after and emergency to keep your food safe

Before

  • Have a supply of long-life items including milk, bottled water and canned goods.
  • Prepare eskies with ice bricks or gel packs to keep food cold if the power goes out.
  • Keep a can opener handy.
  • Don’t forget about food for infants or pets.
  • Store food somewhere above floodwater if there’s a risk of flooding.
  • Have a supply of drinking-quality water, detergent, bleach and alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

During

  • Keep food cold, clean and check the label.
  • Keep the fridge door closed as much as possible.
  • A fridge should keep food cold for around four hours – after that it can begin to spoil.
  • Keep the freezer door closed as much as possible.
  • A freezer shouldn’t defrost for around 24 hours.
  • If frozen foods have thawed don’t refreeze!

After

  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser to wash hands if drinking water is limited.
  • Throw out food that has touched flood water or has an unusual smell, colour or texture. Don’t taste it to see if it’s OK.
  • Check canned foods and throw out any cans that are dented, swollen, damaged or leaking.
  • Throw out food that has been near fire, including food in cans and jars even if they appear OK.

If in doubt, throw it out!

 

 

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