Tuck into safe tucker this Australia Day

With Australia Day just 2 days away and our temperatures at extreme, the NSW Food Authority is urging people to keep an eye on the temperature of your food; keep hot food hot and cold food cold.

CEO of the NSW Food Authority Dr Lisa Szabo said temperature control is a key factor in reducing the risk of food poisoning especially when you’re cooking outdoors and enjoying the Aussie summer.

“Hot summer days and the traditional Australia Day BBQ are a perfect combination, however it’s also a perfect environment for bacteria to grow,” Dr Szabo said.

“There is typically a seasonal increase in Salmonella, one of the most common bacteria associated with food poisoning, during the warmer months.”

Food kept inside the danger zone of 5 to 60 degrees Celsius has an increased risk of bacterial growth, so it’s important to chill food below 5 degrees or heat it above 60.

Dr Szabo said cooking and eating outdoors does bring its own set of unique challenges but following some simple food safety rules can help reduce risk.

“I suggest that people begin by practicing the same level of hygiene at a BBQ or picnic as you would when cooking in your own kitchen at home and always start by thoroughly washing and drying your hands, if you don’t have access to soap and water then sanitising gel or wipes could be used as an alternative,” she said.

“Just like home it’s important to keep your preparation surfaces clean and being outside keep an extra vigilant eye out for pests like flies.”

The NSW Food Authority recommends that if you’re having a barbecue on 26 January, you follow a few simple tips for outdoor cooking and dining:

  • don’t eat cooked foods, or foods that should be refrigerated, that have been left out for more than two hours;
  • if you’re travelling, store uncooked and ready-to-eat foods in separate sealed containers and keep them cold during transport using a chiller bag or esky;
  • keep benches, equipment and tableware clean and dry;
  • some meats need to be cooked thoroughly, there should be no pink left in cooked meat like mince, sausages or chicken; and
  • use separate plates and utensils for cooking and serving.

For the NSW Food Authority’s full list of food safety tips for summer cooking and dining visit www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/summer


Aussies wasting nearly $10 billion of food each year

Australians are collectively wasting $9.6 billion on food each year according to new research released by RaboDirect.

In a survey of 2,300 people aged between 16 and 65, the RaboDirect Food & Farming Report shows that Australians are wasting an average of 14 per cent of their weekly grocery buy. In total, this equates to over $1050 each year.

The report reveals the habits which are contributing to food waste in Australia, including never eating food past its ‘best before’ date and not eating leftovers.

Why is food being wasted?

The leading cause of food waste according to 82 per cent of respondents is a product going off and becoming unusable before they can use it.

43 per cent of people stated they buy too much food, making this the second leading cause of food waste in Australia.

The results of the RaboDirect report show that food waste is still an issue in Australia, according to the Head of RaboDirect, Beden Cronin.

“Australians can make a few small changes to everyday habits, such as using leftovers for lunches through the week, which will help reduce food waste,” Cronin said.

Here’s the full article POSTED BY NICHOLAS NAKOS– http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/2017/10/30/food-waste-in-australia-totals-nearly-10-billion-each-year-rabodirect-report.html



GMO Labels Explained

Want to know more about our world of Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO’s and what these labels on food mean? Harvest Public Media’s Jeremy Bernfeld explains in this video –



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


Chefs with International Qualifications

FAQ – If I have an overseas qualification as a chef, am I able to work as a Food Safety Supervisor in Australia?

Staff at CFT International are often asked this question.   Your employer may accept your international qualifications as a chef. However, you cannot be the food safety supervisor for the business unless you have a Statement of Attainment from an RTO in Australia for the food sector in which you are working or intend to work.

International chefs can obtain a Statement of Attainment from CFT International.  CFT International is an RTO offering training for Food Safety Supervisors online, in class and by correspondence.  To find out more visit our website http://www.cft.com.au.


Salmonella outbreak in Canberra closes two cafes

An outbreak of salmonella has forced two popular Canberra cafes to close their doors while they were investigated by health inspectors.

In a statement, HPS said health inspectors had uncovered problems “related with food handling processes and procedures” at both stores.

“The cafes will be closed until such time as the identified issues have been rectified,” the statement said.

The closure of the cafes for ‘serious food safety breaches’ and “risk to public health” is a scary reminder of the extreme importance of ensuring all food handlers are properly trained and aware of best safe food handling practises.
Click the link to read the articles about the closure of two cafes in Canberra.  If you haven’t updated your Food Safety Training don’t leave it too late!

A little food manifesto

A little food manifesto


Find the fridge: spoiled foods cost business a fortune


Unless you would like a date with the porcelain, put your lunch in the fridge.

That’s the advice from the Food Safety Information Council, which warns that many Australians fail to follow simple instructions to avoid food poisoning.

But employers appear to need to help out – a recent council survey found that many of the office workers who don’t use the fridge for their lunch believe that it’s more an incubator for food disasters than a way to keep food clean and cool.

The annual survey of about 1200 people found that three-quarters of office workers take their lunch to work, but 10 per cent of that number fail to put their lunch in the fridge.

The results were worse for school lunches: more than one-quarter of parents fail to put a frozen drink or ice block with their child’s lunch – up 8 per cent on the survey in 2011.

“Food poisoning can have horrific long-term consequences, including reactive arthritis,” Michael Eyles, council chair, said.


The council warns that food poisoning costs Australia an estimated $1.25 billion each year, including 2.1 million days lost at work and 1.2 million visits to the doctor.

The figures are calculated by microbiologists at the federal government entity OzFoodNet.

Dr Eyles warned that lunchboxes needed to be washed and dried daily and should be replaced if cracked, split or shattered

“Bugs will grow in any cracks,” he said. “Avoid risky foods such as soft cheeses, sprouts and pate.”

As for the workplace, employers should keep the fridges in good working order and make sure that they do not become overcrowded.

“Rather than avoid it, become friends with that fridge at work that no one seems to own,” Dr Eyles said. “Make sure it is clean and not packed with ageing food.”

And it’s always good etiquette to ensure that if you open the fridge, you also close it properly.



Adrian Lowe

The Age


Food Safety Bill

Illness from contaminated food, ranging from minor stomachaches and queasiness to life-threatening E. coli infections, are a serious public-health threat in the U.S., resulting in 5,000 deaths and 325,000 hospitalizations each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When tallied up, the consequences of foodborne illness — including doctor visits, medication, lost work days and pain and suffering — cost the U.S. an estimated $152 billion annually. That figure was reported on Wednesday in a new study by the Produce Safety Project, an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trust.
– Time Magazine

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1969259,00.html#ixzz2HKeWzkhB


Food Safety made easy

Food Safety made easy