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

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!

 

 

Ten Surprisingly High Risk Healthy Foods That Could Make You Sick!

When you think of food poisoning, you think of chicken, beef, seafood, right? However, studies are showing that the top riskiest foods involve popular “healthy” foods. Over 40% of all food borne illnesses outbreaks are caused by foods that we normally think of as good for you. Everything on your grocery list – even the most innocuous food – must be shopped for and handled with care.

1- Leafy greens

Leafy greens like lettuce may not be properly clean i.e pre-washed salad mixes, harboring harmful germs. A truck not cold enough (in other words, the refrigerator on the truck may not be at 41°F, 5°C, during the entire trip from processor to the store) to transport salads is a truck where germs could start to grow. Since salads aren’t cooked, you could ingest germs just by opening the package and eating. This is not to scare you away from salad; it’s to let you know that it isn’t foolproof.

So how do you make sure it’s safe? Continue reading

Eating Nuts Reduces Risk of Major Diseases

A study published earlier this month in the New England Journal of Medicine states that increased nut consumption is associated with a reduced risk of major chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The study also found that people who ate nuts every day weighted less.

The nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality was looked at in the Nurses’ Health Study and in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Researchers found that eating a handful of nuts was inversely associated with total mortality in men and women. The results were independent of other predictors for mortality. The nuts included peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts. The amount was 3 tablespoons, eating seven times or more every week.

Specifically, there was an 11% reduction in cancer rates, a 29% reduction in heart disease and a decrease in respiratory diseases. Overall, compared with those who did not eat nuts, those who ate nuts seven or more times per week had a 20% lower death rate. Nuts have an optimal lipid profile (good fats) and a high fiber content, along with high quality protein, vitamins, and phytochemicals such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and phytosterols. These results are consistent with results found in other, smaller studies.

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7 Million hits on Name & Shame registe

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The popular Name and Shame register which publicly names businesses that fail to meet food safety standards has received more than 7 million hits online, NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson said.”This sends a clear message to food businesses that consumers expect high standards and are scanning the list of restaurants and other food outlets before deciding where to dine out,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

“A penalty notice on the register not only acts as a potential deterrent to would be diners it also serves as a deterrent to food businesses against making food safety breaches.”

There were almost 1.25 million views on the Name and Shame register in 2012 alone and more than 7.1 million since the register was established in 2008.

The most common food safety breaches under the Food Act 2003 are;

  • Cleaning and sanitation (35%)
  • Temperature control (13%)
  • Pest control – infestations, droppings (13%)
  • Hand washing offences (13%)
  • Protection from contamination – storage, personal hygiene (11%)

“The number of food businesses appearing on the register has almost halved in 3 years which shows the campaign is having the desired effect with more food outlets adhering to the rules,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

In 2011-12, 785 food businesses appeared on the Name and Shame register (1337 penalty notices) compared to 1309 food businesses in 2009-2010 (2329 penalty notices).

“This is a timely reminder to all food businesses across NSW to comply with food safety laws to stay off the Name and Shame register,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

To view the Name and Shame register visit: www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/penalty-notices

Further cases of Listeria indentified

18 January 2013

An ongoing national investigation has linked a further seven cases of listeria to soft cheeses. There are now 18 cases of listeria infection nationally, and a link to batches of Jindi manufactured cheeses sold at delicatessens and supermarkets has been identified.

The Jindi Cheese company is now voluntarily recalling its cheeses from all batches it manufactured up until January 7.

listeria sample

listeria sample

Dr Lisa Szabo, Chief Scientist, NSW Food Authority, advised that affected Jindi cheeses should either be discarded or returned to the retailer for a refund. There are a number of brand names included in the recall. Consumers should check the list of products or call the Jindi helpline on 1800 680 175.

Professor Wayne Smith, Acting Director of Health Protection, NSW Health, advises that the recalled Jindi foods should not be consumed.

Eight cases of listeria have been identified in Victoria, six in NSW, two in Queensland and single cases in Tasmania and Western Australia. Two people – a Victorian man, 84, and a Tasmanian man, 44, have died of listeriainfection, and a NSW woman miscarried.

Professor Lynn Gilbert, Clinical Lead, Infection Prevention and Control, Western Sydney Local Health District, said that at risk groups should be aware that some foods are potentially harmful to them.

“Pregnant women, and the elderly, in particular need to aware of this recall. Sadly, a woman in NSW has miscarried after contracting listeria,” said Prof Gilbert.

Listeria is a bacteria that can affect a range of food products, particularly soft cheeses such as camembert and brie, despite strict hygiene and manufacturing controls,” Prof Gilbert said.

“The infection will cause minor or no symptoms in the vast majority of healthy people who may contract it, but is particularly dangerous for some vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and the elderly. Early symptoms of listeria include fever, headache, tiredness, aches and pains.

“It’s extremely important that at risk groups are aware of the dangers of associated with soft cheeses and what Jindi products have been recalled.”

For the full list of products please visit:

http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/news/alerts-recalls/product-recall-jindi-cheeses/

Information about listeria, and the type of foods at risk, can be found on the NSW Health website at:

http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/news/Pages/Listeria-Health-Alert.aspx

Further information about what foods to avoid can be found at:

http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/consumers/life-events-and-food/

Listeria outbreak prompts cheese recall – The Age

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A listeria outbreak has prompted a nation-wide recall of certain brands of soft cheeses.

Eight cases of listeria infection across Australia have found to be linked and a further three cases are under investigation, Victoria’s Department of Health said.

The state’s chief health officer Rosemary Lester said consumers should discard 1kg brie and camembert cheese branded Jindi, the 1kg Wattle Valley double brie and the 1kg Wattle Valley camembert with a best before date of December 21.

Dr Lester warned consumers to check the best before date of any Jindi or Wattle Valley soft cheeses.

“Consumers who have purchased a cut portion of camembert or brie from a supermarket or delicatessen who are unsure of the brand should discard it,” she said.

Two Victorians, three NSW residents and one person in Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia have been diagnosed with the infection.

The cheeses have been voluntarily recalled as a precaution.

Listeria infections usually only produce mild symptoms in healthy people, but can be dangerous to pregnant women, their unborn babies and elderly people, Dr Lester said.

“It can cause miscarriages in pregnant women and even death in people with compromised immune systems,” Dr Lester said.

“Investigations into listeria are complex as it can be difficult to identify the source.

“Symptoms of illness can take up to 70 days to appear.”

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/listeria-outbreak-prompts-cheese-recall-20121218-2bky2.html#ixzz2FXQ4rsjW

December 18th 2012

Are Your Staff Receiving the Best Training?

When you choose an RTO (Registered Training Organisation), you naturally assume they are fully qualified and will deliver up-to-date, compliant training to your staff.

 

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is the national regulatory body for Australia’s vocational education and training sector (VET).

 

They have the task of ensuring that RTOs meet the required standards. but if you visit their website, you might be surprised at the number of RTOs and CRICOS (those enrolling international students) who are not doing a very good job.

ASQA has published a list of decisions made in the past year (http://www.asqa.gov.au/news/1300/asqa-regulatory-decisions.html) and it makes for very interesting reading.

ASQA publishes this information in accordance with the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 and it includes decisions to impose sanctions and to reject renewals by certain RTOs and CRICOS.

The number of cancellations, suspensions and rejections documented is quite surprising and suggests that there are a lot of so-called training providers out there who just don’t have what it takes to deliver quality training.

So do you know how your current RTO measures up? Can you be certain that your staff are receiving high quality training that conforms to the ASQA guidelines?

One way to tell is to see how they rate using the following checklist.

A good RTO will always:

  • provide training that is quality assured and nationally recognised
  • have trainers with significant industry experience
  • have experience working with similar businesses in your industry
  • tailor training to suit your particular business
  • deliver training that is clear, concise and engaging
  • provide training where and when you need it.

An organisation that has all these qualities and more is CFT International, one of Australia’s leading RTO’s, specialising in food safety training conducted online, in-class and onsite.

A member of the Australian Food Safety Trainers Network, CFT International has trained more than 40,000 people in the hospitality, retail, food processing and health sectors. They offer professional training delivered by industry experts, with a focus on ‘what you need to know’.

So before you engage any old RTO to train your staff, find out who you’re dealing with and what their track record tells you. If you don’t, you may find out the hard way by seeing their name in the ASQA’s next regulatory report.

For further information on training with CFT International, go to http://www.cft.com.au

Are you Putting Your Business and Your Customers at Risk?

When you choose an RTO (Registered Training Organisation), you naturally assume they are fully qualified and will deliver up-to-date, compliant training to your staff.

don't let your business suffer

Is your training organisation up to scratch?

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is the national regulatory body for Australia’s vocational education and training sector (VET).

They have the task of ensuring that RTOs meet the required standards. but if you visit their website, you might be surprised at the number of RTOs and CRICOS (those enrolling international students) who are not doing a very good job.

ASQA has published a list of decisions made in the past year (http://www.asqa.gov.au/news/1300/asqa-regulatory-decisions.html) and it makes for very interesting reading.

ASQA publishes this information in accordance with the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 and it includes decisions to impose sanctions and to reject renewals by certain RTOs and CRICOS.

The number of cancellations, suspensions and rejections documented is quite surprising and suggests that there are a lot of so-called training providers out there who just don’t have what it takes to deliver quality training.

So do you know how your current RTO measures up? Can you be certain that your staff are receiving high quality training that conforms to the ASQA guidelines?

One way to tell is to see how they rate using the following checklist.

A good RTO will always:

  • provide training that is quality assured and nationally recognised
  • have trainers with significant industry experience
  • have experience working with similar businesses in your industry
  • tailor training to suit your particular business
  • deliver training that is clear, concise and engaging
  • provide training where and when you need it.

An organisation that has all these qualities and more is CFT International, one of Australia’s leading RTO’s, specialising in food safety training conducted online, in-class and onsite.

A member of the Australian Food Safety Trainers Network, CFT International has trained more than 40,000 people in the hospitality, retail, food processing and health sectors. We offer professional training delivered by industry experts, with a focus on ‘what you need to know’.

So before you engage any old RTO to train your staff, find out who you’re dealing with and what their track record tells you. If you don’t, you may find out the hard way by seeing their name in the ASQA’s next regulatory report.

For further information on training with CFT International, go to http://www.cft.com.au