Australians warned about winter food poisoning
A food safety warning has been issued telling Australians to be cautious of food poisoning when cooking winter foods like soups and stews.
Chair of the Food Safety Council, Rachelle Williams, said although many people associate food poisoning with hot weather, Australians need to wary of the dangers in cooking big winter meals like casseroles.
“Cooking in bulk is cost effective, saves time and reduces food waste,” Williams said.
“However, we need to be extra careful handling these large amounts of food because, if they are left to cool slowly, bacteria can grow and produce dangerous toxins that won’t be destroyed by further cooking,” she said.
The Food Safety Council suggests dividing hot food into smaller portions and to refrigerate or freeze the food as soon as it stops steaming.
“Refrigerated leftovers should be used or frozen within 2 to 3 days,” says Williams.
“They will keep several months in the freezer. When reheating food ensure that it is hot all the way through, follow any microwave instructions to stir it or leave it to stand and use a thermometer to ensure it is at least 75°C in the centre,” she said.
The Council has also warned Australians using slow cookers to always follow instructions and make sure food is held at 60°C or above.