New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS) today launched its summer 2018 food safety campaign. This focuses on preventing people getting food poisoning by doing 3 simple things: Clean, Cook, Chill.
Head of New Zealand Food Safety, Bryan Wilson says foodborne illness strikes about 200,000 New Zealanders every year with around half of those cases occurring in the home and Campylobacter is the most common cause.
"Campylobacter bacteria occurs naturally in the gut of animals and birds, especially chickens. It can easily be spread around the kitchen from raw meat to surfaces and other foods, and it can make you very sick unless you use good food safety practices.
"The risk is greater in the summer months as the bacteria grows faster in the warmer weather. To avoid getting sick during the summer months, we want everyone to remember the 3Cs: Clean, Cook, Chill."
Before you prepare food and after handling raw meat:
- wash hands, chopping boards, dishes, and utensils (like knives) in hot soapy water to kill bacteria and stop cross-contamination between raw and cooked food
- dry them properly. Preferably air dry and not with a towel.
- Cook food (especially chicken and mince) thoroughly all the way through until the juices run clear. If in doubt, cook it a little longer.
- Reheat until hot. (Warm does not kill bacteria. Hot does.)
To stop bacteria growing in your food:
- don't leave food out. Refrigerate cooked meat as soon as possible (within 2 hours) to stop bacteria multiplying. If in doubt – throw it out.
- separate and cover cooked and raw meat in the fridge
- store raw chicken and parts below ready-to-eat food in the refrigerator.
"Another tip is that you shouldn't wash raw poultry as this helps spread Campylobacter to the hands, clothes, other food, and contact surfaces. So no washing that Christmas turkey. Have a safe and happy holiday," says Mr Wilson.