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 –


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.


To read full article and links –

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 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

3 Things the Best Bartenders Know That You Don’t

Good bartenders know the Responsible Service of Alcohol laws, but the best bartenders actually believe in them and make them a part of everything they do.


So, what are the 3 things the best bartenders know that you don’t?


They know when you’ve had too much to drink for one thing, even though you may not agree with them.
They’re trained to look out for the signs of inebriation and, if you exhibit them, the best bartenders will
stop serving you for your own good,

These signs include:

Slurring or unclear speech
Clumsiness, such as fumbling with your change
Staggering or swaying on your feet
Confusion or lack of understanding
Abusive language or physical aggression.

It’s not just for your own good either. Bartenders are required by law to refuse service to a person they
believe is intoxicated and they face prosecution along with their employer if they fail to do so.

Serving minors

The best bartenders also know if you’re under 18. If they suspect you are, they’ll ask for your ID and
they’re pretty good at spotting fake ones. They know the signs to look for, which include:

Height and body weight that doesn’t match yours
Fuzzy numbers or letters
Bumps or rough edges
Red eye in the photograph.

If they’re not convinced, the best bartenders will ask for more ID, such as a credit card. If you can’t

satisfy them, they won’t serve you, because it’s their responsibility if they get it wrong.

Standard drinks

The third thing the best bartenders know is what constitutes a standard drink. Drinks are standardised
not just for commercial reasons, but so you can tell how much you’ve had and whether you should be
driving home. Standard drinks are:

Beer – 285ml (a middy)
Light beer – 570ml (2 middies)
Red or white wine – 100ml
Fortified wine or port – 60ml
Champagne – 100ml
Spirits – 30ml

Of course, any bartender can refuse you service, but the best bartenders are those who do it with
friendliness and tact and even go out of their way to call you a cab if you shouldn’t be driving.

That’s because the best bartenders don’t just pay lip service to the responsible service of alcohol, they
regard it as doing you a favour, even though you may not see it that way at the time.The best bartenders also get the best training. CFT International has Responsible Service of Alcohol

courses that cover legislation in every state and territory.

Cats in the kitchen !

Some cafe and restaurant owners have been caught with animals such as mangy stray cats, pet dogs and ibis in their kitchens, putting their customers at serious risk of food contamination.

A Public Defender investigation reveals six shops have been issued with steep fines in the past 12 months for keeping live animals in their food preparation areas.

In some cases, council health and safety inspectors discovered the animals were being fed within the kitchen area, with pet food either poured into bowls or placed on newspaper on the floor. In one case, a wild game hunter was caught keeping his freshly slaughtered pig, destined for human consumption, beside his hunting dogs.

At Alpha Hot Bread in Campsie, health inspectors found a cat living in a plastic box in a food storage room, complete with a container of cat food and a pile of kitty litter on a piece of cardboard on the cement floor.
While the inspectors were present, another stray cat walked into the premises through the open back door.

Owner Thi An Nguyen told inspectors the cat had just been given to her and she had not had a chance to take it home. She received a $330 fine and was also reprimanded for not washing her hands after using the toilet and handling animals.

Alpha Hot Bread is now under new ownership.

At the Mulbring General Store in Kurri Kurri, inspectors discovered an unleashed dog wandering through food preparation areas and eating dry dog food from a bowl. When contacted, employee Mary Ann said they were “not sorry”.

Some restaurants, including the popular dumpling destination New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant in Ashfield, were fined for attracting feral animals, stray cats and birds by leaving boxes of unprepared food unprotected at the rear of the property.

Its publicist was apologetic, saying the outlet “takes their hygiene very seriously” and “they’re very proactive in the security of their guests and the hygiene of their restaurant”.

The NSW Food Authority’s director of enforcement and compliance Peter Day said some cafes caught feeding animals in their shops were repeat offenders.

“It is certainly something we are very strict on because cats and dogs are well known as … carriers of a number of diseases and parasites that can easily be transmitted to humans,” he said.

“The biggest danger is toxoplasmosis, which is fairly prevalent in cats and can be a transmitted to humans through food.”

Another to flout health and safety laws was the Indian Mart at Westmead, which has since changed ownership.

Monash food safety dished up on Golden Plate

>MONASH Council is recognising local restaurants and cafes that value food safety with a revamped Golden Plate Awards program.

Businesses that score well in impromptu food safety inspections by council will be given a three, four or five-star rating and a corresponding certificate to display, with the highest rating applying to premises with a 93 per cent score or above. 

Last financial year, Monash Council received 181 food complaints and conducted 2256 food safety inspections.

Health officers tested 538 food samples, with 90 per cent of samples complying with food standards.

Restaurants, cafes, bakeries, takeaway stores, supermarkets and aged and childcare facilities are eligible for the awards and are automatically assessed as part of normal inspections.

Mayor Greg Male said the awards would help consumers have peace of mind when eating out in Monash.

“Whenever and wherever we eat out, we expect our food to be safe and the places where we eat to be clean and hygienic,” he said.

“There is no problem, but this is a requirement and we are just prompting people to realise that’s what we expect.”

Five-star businesses will be listed in the council’s It’s Your Food newsletter and on the council’s website. 

Training Online and CFT have trained many food businesses in Monash and conduct local classes in Oakleigh every month for more details of class times and locations call 1300 665 633

Restaurant cleaning cloths ‘pose health risk’

Restaurants and takeaways are using cleaning cloths contaminated with E coli, listeria and other potentially dangerous bacteria, a study by Health Protection Agency (HPA) has revealed

Cloths used to clean surfaces where food is prepared need to be changed regularly or thoroughly disinfected to prevent the growth of bacteria that can cause food poisoning,
Bacteria on uncleaned cloths can transfer to the hands of staff then on to work surfaces, equipment and utensils. 
Exposure to harmful bacteria can cause food poisoning … for some – particularly the very young, very old and pregnant women – it can have serious consequences. 
“The HPA plays an important role in monitoring the hygiene standards at commercial premises and these worrying findings should serve as a timely reminder to all caterers to ditch the dirty dishcloths and stick to disposable ones.”
For food safety and food hygiene training go to