FSIC Newsletter No.19 - Jan 2016
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Keep your kid’s lunchbox safe – back to school food safety advice

Research by the Food Safety Information Council has found that a quarter of parents that pack a lunchbox for school fail to include a frozen drink or freezer block to keep it cool.

Food Safety Information Council Chair, Rachelle Williams, said it is great for healthy eating that 94% of households with children pack school lunches but it is concerning that quarter of those parents fail to include a frozen drink or freezer block.
‘We need to transport food to school safely to ensure our kids don’t become one of the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year. Bacteria can grow quickly in some foods, like cooked poultry and other meats; dairy products and sandwich fillings so it is important to keep their lunchbox cool.
‘At school your child’s lunchbox will stay cool until lunchtime if kept in their school bag with a frozen drink or freezer block inside the lunchbox,’ Ms Williams concluded.
Follow these 5 simple lunchbox food safety tips:
  1. When buying lunchboxes choose ones that have room for a frozen drink or freezer block and are easy to clean and dry.
  2. Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before preparing food.
  3. Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
  4. Make sure lunchbox foods are always well separated from other foods in the refrigerator, particularly raw meats, chicken and fish.
  5. Keep the lunch cool in the fridge until you are about to leave home.
The Food Safety Information Council is a health promotion charity and Australia’s leading disseminator of consumer-targeted food safety information. The Council aims to address the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year that result in 31,920 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to doctors on average each year.
Media contact:
Lydia Buchtmann , Food Safety Information Council
Tel 0407 626 688

Chair Report for January 2016

Well, here we are at the start of a new year. Many people are still just coming back from their end of year holiday, but the FSIC has been active all through the festive season.

We have had a very successful Christmas campaign and our “don’t wash the poultry” message attracted a lot of attention and media interviews.

We did at least five pre-recorded interviews, which were then played on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day across the country.
Then there is the whole egg thing. After a story on TV on a supermarket chain about to put their eggs into refrigerated display, there was a lot of interest about the storage and handling of eggs. We did four radio and TV interviews reminding people that there is no food safety reason that eggs need to be kept refrigerated, but must be handled properly.

On the 29 January I will be going to Canberra to hold the first ever FSIC Annual Review Meeting. We will be having a warts and all look at where we are and where we are going, and all members are welcome to attend either face to face or via teleconference. 

We will be starting our Membership Drive this month, with a focus on Local Councils. I thank the Australian Local Government Association for kindly letting us use their list of more than 500 local councils across the country.

I want to thank all members for their ongoing commitment and involvement, especially CSIRO, FSANZ and the South Australian Department of Health.

We are looking forward to a big year (our 19th) and of course, the 20th Food Safety Week in November.

Rachelle Williams

Copyright © 2016 Food Safety Information Council, All rights reserved.

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