Food Safety Week
8 – 15 November 2015
Did you know? Busting the food safety myths.
There are a lot of myths out there about what causes food poisoning so throughout the Week, the Food Safety Information Council will be releasing the latest consumer research about what Australians understand about food safety, plus some simple tips to help people reduce your risk of getting sick.
Fact or fiction? Our mythbusters have been hard at work setting straight some food safety myths.
Myth 1: You should never place hot food in immediately in a refrigerator
Not true. It is important however to ensure that large quantities of food are divided into smaller shallow containers for quicker cooling in the refrigerator and that the refrigerator is not overcrowded. Bacteria multiply rapidly at temperatures between 5 degrees and 60 degrees.
Myth 2: The last meal I ate is what caused my foodborne illness (food poisoning)
Except for some toxins and viruses, most harmful microorganisms take longer than a few hours to make you sick. Symptoms of foodborne illness can start anywhere from a few hours to several weeks after eating contaminated food. So don't be quick to blame the restaurant you ate at today for lunch – you may have gotten sick from something you ate a few days ago.
Myth 3: I don't need to wash my hands before preparing food as I am wearing disposable gloves
Wearing gloves is not a legal requirement for food handlers in South Australia however handwashing is. Improper use of disposable gloves such as not changing gloves when handling ready to eat foods and raw foods or when handling money is just as unhygienic as inadequate hand washing. The best way to clean your hands when preparing food is to wet your hands with warm water, lather with soap for at least 20 seconds, rinse with warm water and dry with a clean towel.
Myth 4: It's okay to thaw meat on the counter. Since its starts out frozen, bacteria isn't really a problem
Actually, bacteria grow surprisingly rapidly at room temperature, so the counter is never a safe place to store food. Instead thaw food safely in the refrigerator overnight.
How much do you know? You can take a quiz here and test your knowledge.
Council will also be holding two free community barbeques in Woodside and Stirling to share tips and bust more food safety myths. We'd love to see you there.