“Food poisoning bacteria can grow rapidly" warns council
DON'T leave food in the temperature danger zone of 5°C to 60°C.
That's the message from Rockhampton Regional Council to keep your family and friends safe as we head into Australian Food Safety Week, which started on Sunday.
Health and Compliance Committee Chair Councillor Ellen Smith said keeping food at the correct temperatures will reduce the risk of food poisoning.
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"We're reminding residents to avoid leaving food out in the temperature danger zone of 5°C to 60°C where food poisoning bacteria can grow quickly and potentially produce toxins that aren't destroyed by further cooking," Cr Smith said.
"Food poisoning bacteria can grow rapidly if perishable food is left out of the fridge or if cooked food is not refrigerated or frozen promptly after cooking."
Here are some simple tips for avoiding the temperature danger zone:
- Keep your fridge at or below 5°C. Use a fridge thermometer to check the temperature stays around 4 to 5°C.
- Make sure you have enough fridge space. Fridges won't work properly when they are overloaded or when food is packed tightly because cold air cannot circulate.
- If you're running out of room, remove foods that are not potentially hazardous, such as alcohol or soft drinks. The temperature of these foods is not critical and they can be kept cool in insulated containers with ice or cold packs.
- Freshly cooked food, not for immediate consumption, should have the temperature reduced as quickly as possible. Divide into small portions and place in containers in the fridge or freezer as soon as it stops steaming.
- Hot food needs to be kept and served at 60°C or hotter. If you are keeping it warm for someone put it in the oven at 60°C or at 100°C if that is the oven's lowest temperature. If you think the food will dry out, cool the plate or container until the steam stops rising, cover and put into the fridge.
Australian Food Safety Week is the major activity of the Food Safety Information Council which aims to address the estimated 4.1 million cases of food borne illness in Australia each year.