Home' Army News : December 8th 2011 Contents 12 NEWS
Army December 8, 2011
By CPO Jason Barker
THE traditional Christmas lunch can
taste fantastic and be a hit with family
But the last thing anyone wants
a bout of food poisoning, ruining
Christmas for yourself and probably the
More than 27,000 cases of food-
borne illness were reported in Australia
during 2009, affecting 2680 people, put-
ting 342 in hospital and causing eight
This is the tip of the iceberg, as most
people don't report food poisoning and
only 20 per cent seek medical help.
Many of these cases come from the fam-
Home kitchen benches, ovens, stoves
and fridges are designed to cater for the
average sized family and may not be
suitable for preparing or storing large
amounts of food.
Your guests may bring a plate of
food, this food may have been left out of
the fridge for an extended period, allow-
ing enough time for any bacteria present
Families want to be together and
enjoy the day, so many will prepare
meals days or even weeks ahead of time.
This is fine as long as these items are
non-perishable and stored correctly.
Cooked meat, smallgoods, dairy prod-
ucts, eggs and cooked pasta and rice are
all known to harbour a number of bacte-
ria capable of causing serious illness.
By applying a few food-handling tips,
people can safely get through the festive
season and the rest of the year:
Wash hands in hot soapy water and dry
thoroughly before food preparation
and when switching between food to
be cooked and food eaten raw.
Use separate chopping knives and
boards when preparing foods to be
cooked and those to be eaten raw, or
thoroughly clean them before swap-
Meat can be thawed at room tem-
perature but must be cooked as soon
as thawed. Ideally all meat should be
thawed in the fridge.
Stuffing inside chickens and turkeys
can reduce cooking temperature, so it
is best cooked separately and added
Sausages, mince dishes, and poultry
must be cooked all the way through,
as these are considered high-risk prod-
Store food at the appropriate tem-
perature: chilled food less than 5°C
or hot cooked food greater than 60°C.
Bacteria will grow rapidly between
5°C and 60°C.
Leftovers should be stored appro-
priately. Place in the fridge as soon
as cooked food stops steaming. It is
best placed into small containers with
space around each one.
Re-use leftovers within 2-3 days and
reheat thoroughly and rapidly to above
If in doubt throw it out.
Those who follow these simple steps
can be confident that when they're feel-
ing sick on Boxing Day, it won't be
because of the food.
you eat this
Eat up: Avoid Christmas dinner disaster by following a few simple food safety tips. Photo by Sgt Mick Davis
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