Australian Government Food Safety agency urges greater use of meat thermometer in home

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 13th December 2011

The Federal Government’s Food Safety Information Council (FSIC) is urging more consumers to use meat thermometers in order to decrease the risk of food poisoning.

The Food Safety Information Council is a non-profit entity supported by the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, state and territory health and food safety agencies, local government, and leading professional, industry and community organisations.

According to Newspoll research released today, which was commissioned by the FSIC, only 23 per cent of Australian households own a meat thermometer and only a third of those with a one have used it in the last month.

The national Newspoll research, which surveyed over 1,200 Australians aged 18 years and over, found that:

The percentage of Australian households that claimed to have a meat thermometer in their home varied across the country, ranging from 27 per cent in Victoria, to 17 per cent in Queensland.

Higher income households were significantly more likely to have a meat thermometer. 28 per cent of households with an income over A$80,000 claimed to have a meat thermometer, compared to just 17 per cent of households with an income of A$30,000 or less.

Among those who said they have a meat thermometer, only one in three (35 per cent) claimed to have used it in the last month, with half of these (18 per cent) claiming to have used it in the last week.

The FSIC’s Chair, Dr Michael Eyles said there are an estimated 5.4 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year, including 120 deaths.

He said, “The risk of food poisoning increases around Christmas time as the weather warms up and food is prepared for larger numbers of people, some of whom may be in the high risk groups of the very young, pregnant women and the elderly. Using something as simple as a meat thermometer can reduce this risk.”