Food Safety

‘Food Safety’ Articles

Understanding ‘Use-By’ and ‘Best-Before’ Labels on Packaged Foods

Posted on February 6th, 2024

In the world of packaged foods, a small set of numbers and words can hold significant importance: ‘Use-By’ and ‘Best-Before’ dates. These labels serve as guides for consumers, offering insights into the freshness, quality, and safety of the products they purchase. Let’s unravel the mystery behind these dates and explore how consumers can make the most of this information. Understanding ‘Best-Before’ Dates: Most packaged foods with a shelf life of less than 2 years are adorned with either a ‘Best-Before’ or ‘Use-By’ date. The ‘Best-Before’ date is not a strict deadline; instead, it signifies the period during which the product […]

Busting Food Poisoning Myths: The Truth Behind Your Plate

Posted on November 27th, 2023

In the realm of culinary exploration, the joy of savoring a delightful meal can sometimes be accompanied by the unexpected specter of food poisoning myths. While many consider themselves well-versed in the dos and don’ts of food safety, it’s time to unravel some common misconceptions that might be lurking in our us on a journey to dispel these myths, from the timing of food poisoning to the perceived safety of homemade delicacies. Let’s navigate the culinary landscape armed with facts, ensuring that our gastronomic adventures are not only delicious but also safe and myth-free:

Essential Food Safety Tips for Handling Poultry at Home

Posted on November 11th, 2023

Chicken is a beloved and convenient meal, capturing the hearts and taste buds of over 8 out of 10 cooks in Australia. However, the popularity of poultry, which includes not only chicken but also turkey, duck, quail, squab, geese, pheasants, and guinea fowl, comes with the responsibility of handling and cooking it safely. Poultry is prone to contamination by food poisoning bacteria, making it imperative to follow stringent food safety measures. Handling Poultry Correctly: To minimize the risk of cross-contamination and ensure a safe cooking environment, here are essential tips for handling poultry: Research Findings: A national survey conducted by […]

How to wash your hands properly

Posted on March 20th, 2022

Handwashing is one of the most important things you can do to prevent food poisoning when preparing food for yourself or loved ones. Your hands can spread germs in the kitchen. Some of these germs, like Salmonella, can make you very sick. Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is an easy way to prevent germs from spreading around your kitchen and to other foods. Handwashing is especially important during some key times when germs can spread easily: Before, during, and after preparing any food. After handling uncooked meat, poultry, seafood, flour, or eggs. Before and after using gloves to prevent germs from spreading to your food and your […]

Cross contamination and how to prevent it?

Posted on March 20th, 2022

What is cross contamination and how to prevent? Cross contamination occurs when bacteria and viruses are transferred from a contaminated food or surface such as a chopping board and utensils to other food. For example, it can happen when bacteria from the surface of raw meat, poultry, seafood and raw vegetables (such as unwashed potatoes and other root vegetables), are transferred onto ready to eat foods, such as leaf and vegetable salads, rice or pasta salads, cooked meats, poultry, seafood or even fruit. The bacteria on the raw food are killed when the food is cooked, but the ready to […]

Why store food in your fridge or freezer

Posted on March 20th, 2022

Storing perishable foods and food ingredients in the fridge or freezer is primarily to prevent food poisoning or to slow down spoilage and loss of food quality. At 5°C or colder and at freezing temperatures many bacteria that cause food poisoning and food spoilage either don’t grow or their growth may be slowed down. Remember though that there is a limit to how long food can be refrigerated as it will eventually spoil and the quality deteriorate and some food poisoning bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes can grow and cause infection (see Advice on Listeria [external link]). Frozen food can be kept safely for longer […]

Freeze and defrost food safely

Posted on March 20th, 2022

When freezing food, avoid freezing large amounts at a time. It’s better to split it into smaller quantities in separate containers. This also means you can defrost only the quantity you need. When freezing food you’ve just bought, place it in freezer bags to maintain quality. You don’t need to unwrap pre-packaged raw meat on trays, just put it in a freezer bag. This will help minimise cross contamination in your kitchen. Tie the bag after squeezing out as much air as possible, label and date. If you are freezing cooked food or leftovers, the most important thing is to […]

Maintaining your fridge

Posted on March 20th, 2022

There are some clues when your fridge is having trouble coping. If the motor stays on most of the time, or if your milk, cottage cheese, meat (particularly mincemeat) or other perishables are going off quicker than they should, then this is a sign that your fridge is struggling and needs maintenance and/or adjustment If you lose power while you stored food in Fridge and Freezer When there is a power outage you need to take extra measures to reduce the risk of food-related illness. It is important to record the time the power went off. When a power cut is […]

Food Allergy

Posted on March 20th, 2022

Food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Even a tiny amount of the allergy-causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives or swollen airways. In some people, a food allergy can cause severe symptoms or even a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. Food allergy affects an estimated 8% of children under age 5 and up to 4% of adults. While there’s no cure, some children outgrow their food allergies as they get older. It’s easy to confuse a food allergy with a much more common reaction known as […]

Advice for parents of children with food allergy

Posted on March 20th, 2022

In children, the most common allergies are to cow’s milk and egg, followed by soy, peanuts, tree nuts and wheat. The majority of children will lose their allergies by age three to five years. But allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shell fish are generally prolonged, which is why these four allergies are the most common amongst adolescents and adults. Here are some tips to help you support your child with a food allergy: Avoid spreading food that is not safe for your child to eat by washing your hands and your child’s hands with soap and water before handling […]

Food Intolerance

Posted on March 20th, 2022

What is a food intolerance?   Food intolerance is used to describe many different conditions, where food causes unpleasant symptoms. It can happen each time that food is eaten, but are not a food allergy. A food intolerance is different from food allergy. Intolerances are not caused by the immune system and do not have the risk of a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).   How common is food intolerance? There are many different types of food intolerances which more commonly affect people than a food allergy. It is important to understand that not all reactions to food are because of a food allergy.   […]

What is lactose intolerance? 

Posted on March 20th, 2022

This is a common disorder arising from an inability to digest lactose (milk sugar) because of low levels of the enzyme lactase. Lactose is the main sugar in milk and milk products from mammals (e.g. humans, cows, goats). Lactose is digested by the enzyme lactase in the small intestine of the gut. If lactase activity is low, undigested lactose passes into the colon (large intestine), where it can cause symptoms of lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is often confused with milk allergy, but it is NOT an allergy.   The symptoms of lactose intolerance are:   Diarrhoea   Bloating   Flatulence (wind)   Abdominal pain or discomfort   […]

Difference between food allergy and food intolerance 

Posted on March 20th, 2022

What is the difference between food allergy and food intolerance?   Food allergy Food intolerance Description If you have a food allergy, it means your immune system reacts to a harmless food as if it’s toxic. Your body triggers an allergic reaction.  A food intolerance is a bad reaction to something you’ve eaten that does not involve your immune system.  Symptoms Symptoms of a food allergy usually develop a few seconds or minutes after eating the food. These may include: tingling or itching in your mouth itchy red rash  swelling of the face, mouth, throat or other areas of your body difficulty swallowing wheezing […]

Can I prevent my child getting a food allergy?

Posted on March 20th, 2022

There are some things you can do that may help prevent your child developing a food allergy. These include:  if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, include foods (the ones that can cause allergic reactions) in what you regularly eat  breastfeed if you can   introduce solid food at around 6 months of age  give your child to a variety of foods to eat see your doctor if your child has a reaction to a food.   1. Include allergenic foods in your diet Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should eat a healthy, balanced diet, including allergenic foods. Cutting allergenic foods out will not prevent food allergy in your infant. […]

Lactose Intolerence

Posted on March 20th, 2022

What causes lactose intolerance?   Lactose intolerance is often a temporary condition that can occur after a bout of gastroenteritis (stomach bug) or alongside undiagnosed coeliac disease. It can also occur in the first few months of life until the levels of lactase have become fully established (developmental lactase deficiency).   Who is affected by lactose intolerance?   Certain populations, particularly Asian and African people, suffer from a genetic form of lactose intolerance where there is a gradual loss of ability to produce lactase over time (primary lactose intolerance). Primary lactose intolerance tends to be a condition seen in older children and adults – […]

Best before/Use-by/Expiry dates – Consumer Uncertainty

Posted on March 20th, 2022

Consumer uncertainty about the meaning of the dates that appear on the labels of packaged foods is believed to contribute to about 20 percent of food waste in the home . That’s not surprising when you consider the variety of terms used with date labels, such as “use before,” “sell by,” “expires on,” and many more. Manufacturers generally apply date labels at their own discretion and for a variety of reasons. The most common is to inform consumers and retailers of the date up to which they can expect the food to retain its desired quality and flavour. The key […]

Food safety practices

Posted on March 20th, 2022

Food businesses must ensure that all food received and stored in the food business is checked for best before and expiry dates. It is essential that food is not only handled and stored properly, but also used within the proper time frame. Food should be stored using the First In, First Out (FIFO) method. The practices under this method include: ensuring items that are received first are used first moving items nearing their expiration date to the front of the shelves clearly labelling and dating containers if food items are not stored in their original packaging checking best before and […]

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