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Sunday, 22 December 2019

As temperatures rise across the Beaches and our minds turn to fresh, cold prawns, salads with mango and hot Christmas turkey, it’s important to remember the three golden rules of food safety:

  1. Keep hot food hot
  2. Keep old food cold
  3. Avoid cross contamination between raw, ready to eat and cooked foods.

As Christmas lunch stretches into the afternoon, food should not be left out in the heat. The longer food is left at room temperature the more time there is for bacteria to multiply.

What about Mum’s Christmas Ham? You know the one – the one you’re still eating well into the New Year? Well, if you treat it right, you can eat that delicious ham confidently, knowing that it will not result in the first doctor’s visit of 2019.

To avoid food poisoning, food should be thoroughly cooked, refrigerated food should be kept at less than 5 degrees Celsius and hot foods should be kept above 60 degrees Celsius. Make sure you pack food away quickly or throw it away if it has been out on the table for longer than four hours.

Through the festive season, Council Officers will be on alert, inspecting restaurants and food businesses to ensure they comply with strict food hygiene requirements, no matter how busy they are. Retailers should remember their requirements under the Food Act 2003 and the food standards code that while preparing and handling food, benches and utensils must be kept clean and sanitised and that cross contamination of raw foods, ready to eat foods and cooked products must be avoided.

Last financial year, Council’s Environmental Health Team conducted over 1,590 inspections at food premises across the Northern Beaches, responding to complaints, providing education for food handlers and issuing enforcement action where necessary.

You can learn more about the health rating results of Council’s inspections by visiting Scores on Doors or you can download the mobile app for iPhone and Android.

If you suspect a food business you have visited is not following food hygiene standards, you can report them to Council by calling 1300 434 434 or logging your complaint online.

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