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Key tips

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Keeping food safe can be quick and easy. Food safety is vitally important to maintaining good health.

The following key tips are the golden rules for keeping food safe.

Keep it cold

  • keep the fridge below 5oC
  • put any food that needs to be kept cold in the fridge straight away
  • avoid eating food that’s meant to be in the fridge if it’s been left out for over four hours
  • defrost and marinate foods in the fridge, especially meats
  • shop with a cooler bag, picnic with an esky.

Keep it clean

  • wash and dry hands thoroughly before starting to prepare or eat any food, even a snack
  • keep benches, kitchen equipment and tableware clean and dry
  • don't let raw meat juices drip onto other foods
  • separate raw and cooked food and use different cutting boards and knives for both
  • avoid making food for others if sick with something like diarrhoea.

Keep it hot

  • cook foods to at least 60oC, hotter for specific foods 
  • reheat foods to at least 60oC, until they're steaming hot
  • make sure there's no pink left in cooked meats such as mince or sausages
  • look for clear juices before serving chicken
  • heat to boiling all marinades containing raw meat juices before serving.

Check the label

  • don’t eat food past a 'use-by' date
  • note a 'best before' date
  • follow storage and cooking instructions
  • be allergy aware
  • ask for information about unpackaged foods.

Food poisoning

Food poisoning is the name for the range of illnesses caused by eating or drinking contaminated food or drink.

It is also sometimes called foodborne illness.

It is quite common, affecting an estimated 4.1 million Australians each year.

The symptoms can be unpleasant and for some groups they can be quite serious.

See Food poisoning.

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