TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID GIVING YOUR FAMILY FOOD POISONING
– Minimise the time food stays in the temperature danger zone of 5degC to 60degC.
– Keep hot food hot: use the stove top or the oven turned down just below 100degC. If you want to serve food at less than 60degC make sure it doesn’t stay at that temperature for more than four hours.
– Cool food quickly: once the steam stops rising, cover the food and put it in the fridge.
– Thaw frozen food in the fridge allowing sufficient time to thaw completely, which is usually the day before.
– Don’t overload the fridge which should operate at or under 5 degC.
– Make sure raw meat and poultry in the fridge can’t contaminate ready to eat food like salads or desserts.
– If you need space, take the beer out of the fridge: inadequately cooled drinks can’t make you sick but food can.
– Wash hands, chopping boards, knives and anything else which will come into contact with the food between preparing raw and ready to eat foods.
– Cook minced meats and sausages until they reach 75degC in the centre using a meat thermometer. No pink should be visible.
– Don’t prepare food if you have gastroenteritis – you’ll be sure to pass it on.
– Don’t leave perishable nibbles like dips and soft cheeses out in the temperature danger zone for too long.
– Don’t mix fresh top-ups with ones that have been outside for some time. Low risk foods, such nuts, crisps, crackers, etc. can be topped up every hour or so.
– Use insulated containers with lots of ice-bricks, gel packs or frozen water bottles during transportation.
– Don’t pack food with other chilled food if it has just been cooked and is still warm. Transport it in another insulated container.
– Pack raw meat or poultry in a sealed container at the bottom of the insulated container (to avoid any juices dripping onto other food).
– Put leftovers into the fridge as soon as you get home.
(Source: Food Safety Information Council)