Media Releases

Staying food safe over summer

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 13:01
Food Safety

Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew is reminding New Zealanders to follow the 3 C’s and clean, cook and chill over summer to prevent illness over the summer break.

“As the weather heats up and we all spend more time outdoors enjoying a kiwi summer, it’s important that we all take care when preparing and cooking food,” Mrs Goodhew says.

“By using a few simple tips, the risk of falling ill with food poisoning can be reduced significantly.

“The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is launching an awareness campaign, reminding consumers to follow the 3 C’s: clean, cook and chill, when handling, cooking and storing raw meats such as poultry, to protect themselves from harmful bugs,” says Mrs Goodhew.

Clean: Good food hygiene starts with clean hands. Wash hands with soap and hot water before and after handling raw meat and also make sure your cooking area and tools are clean and washed between preparation of raw meat and cooked foods. Keep raw meat and chicken away from ready-to-eat food, fruit and vegetables. Store at the bottom of the fridge to prevent any juices – which can contain harmful bacteria – from dripping onto other foods.

Cook: Make sure food is cooked through to kill harmful bacteria. Cook chicken, mince, and sausages right through. Pork and poultry juices should run clear. Use a meat thermometer to check temperatures at the middle of the thickest part (internal temperature should be 75 degrees Celsius).

Chill: Refrigerate raw meat as soon as possible to prevent bacterial growth. Most harmful bacteria cannot grow at low refrigeration temperatures. Set your fridge temperature between 2 degrees Celsius and 5 degrees Celsius.

One of the most common sources of foodborne illness is poultry meat, particularly through the Campylobacter bacteria.

“Initiatives from both MPI and the poultry industry have achieved a 50% reduction in the prevalence of contamination in chicken, and an estimated 50% reduction in foodborne campylobacteriosis cases in humans. We have achieved a lot, but we still have plenty to work on and we are pushing as hard as we can.

“By following a few simple tips, everyone can reduce the risk of spoiling their holiday break with illness,” Mrs Goodhew says.

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