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Food Safety at Home

What you can do....

Storage Foods need to be stored properly - both to retain their nutrient value and to keep them safe. As a general rule, store all foods as directed on the label, and follow these simple rules:

* Store raw meats near the bottom of the fridge to ensure that juices do not drip onto other foods. Or place meat into a covered tray or container within the fridge. Use within 2 - 3 days, or check the use-by-date.

* Freeze meat and chicken which you don't intend to use before the use-by-date. Freezing greatly extends the use-by-date. * For frozen storage, it is best to remove the product from the store wrap and place into freezer bags to maintain quality. Expel all air from the bag, tie, label and date the bag.

* Most importantly, check the temperature of your refrigerator and fridge. The refrigerator should be 4oC or less and the freezer should be minus 18oC.

* Thawing of Frozen Product - Thaw meat and other foods in the fridge, and only in the microwave if using the product immediately. Do not thaw food at room temperature or in water. Once thawed, cook immediately. Handling and Preparation

* Wash hands in hot soapy water before preparing food and after touching raw meat

* Use a different chopping board and utensils when preparing different foods (i.e. salads and meats). Or if you only have one chopping board, wash well in between preparation with hot soapy water.

* Never place cooked foods on plates which have contained raw products such as meat, poultry and fish.

* Cooking - When cooking mince, sausages, hamburger patties, rolled roasts and chicken, ensure they are cooked right through.

* When microwaving always rotate or stir products during cooking to promote more even cooking

* Leftovers - Refrigerate once the steam has evaporated, do not leave to completely cool on the bench. Reheat to steaming hot (above 75oC) - this will kill any bacteria which may have grown on the food in the fridge. Do not reheat product more than once and use all leftovers within a day of preparation.

* Cleaning - Wash all work surfaces well with hot soapy water. Wash dishes with hot soapy water. Leave dishes to air dry. Change your tea towel when it becomes soiled or wet. Change your dish cloth regularly and rinse well after use. Clean your fridge and cupboards regularly. Crumbs in cupboards can attract pests and dirty fridges can carry bacteria.

The Truth About Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is messy. Learn more about the causes of food poisoning, symptons, how to avoid it and the truth about carrots and vomit. Click on the link below at your own risk.