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Learn why food safety is everyone's business

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Member for Lismore Thomas George is encouraging local food retailers to attend the NSW Food Regulation Partnership retail meeting in Lismore on 27 August to learn how to capitalise on their good reputation as safe and hygienic operators and understand the latest in food safety.

"The Northern Rivers region is renowned for its quality produce and vibrant hospitality scene", Mr George said.

"In light of that, the NSW Food Authority has chosen Lismore as an ideal location to host its retail food safety forum, one of a series of regular consultation events it holds across the state that gives local food businesses a chance to meet face to face with the local council and the Food Authority and other retailers.

"The salmonella outbreak earlier this year just across the border in Queensland, where more than 200 people became ill after attending a conference, is no doubt still fresh in many people’s minds and I encourage you to take the opportunity to learn how to avoid a crisis like that for your own business.

"Reputation is everything, once you break that trust with your customer it’s very hard to recover."

The meeting will outline ways for retail and hospitality food businesses to manage their duties around allergens in food and update on the new material in the Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) training requirement that improves on food handler skills and knowledge. The session will also provide information on Scores on Doors, a star based food hygiene and safety rating program.

"I congratulate Ballina Shire Council who are already participating in Scores on Doors, as well as Tweed Shire Council who have committed to beginning the program in this financial year," Mr George said.

"This shows a genuine commitment to improving food safety standards in your local areas, something that gives your customers certainty and confidence which is a real selling point.”
"I encourage other local councils yet to do so to get on board Scores on Doors."

In addition to presentations on those programs and how they can help boost business, the meeting will include practical information on how to reduce the risk of food poisoning and keep your customers safe and healthy.

"Given the recent Brisbane experience, of particular interest will be the advice on safe egg preparation as part of a broader salmonella reduction strategy," Mr George said.

"This sort of information is especially timely as we come into the warmer months, where we do tend to see a seasonal increase in salmonella cases."

The Food Regulation Partnership retail meeting will be held at the Lismore Workers Sports Club on Thursday 27 August 2015 from 10am – 12.30pm, followed by a light lunch.

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