Global Handwashing Day & Food Safety Week update
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Hum Happy Birthday twice for healthy hands
Global Handwashing Day 15 October 2015

On Global Handwashing Day the Food Safety Information Council has recommended Australians take the time to wash their hands for the time it takes them to hum  ‘Happy Birthday’ twice.
Food Safety Information Council Chair, Rachelle Williams, said there was evidence that Australians did know how to wash their hands correctly as the council’s telephone surveys consistently showed that 98% of respondents recognised that you should wash your hands using soap and dry thoroughly on a clean towel.
‘But when we observe people actually washing their hands our most recent study showed 29% of men and 8% of women didn’t wash their hands at all after using the bathroom in the food hall of a shopping centre,’ Ms Williams said.
‘Correct hand washing is an important public health issue as you might find that you and your family may, not only get less food poisoning, but also catch fewer viral diseases like norovirus, colds and flu.
‘We need to take the time to wash our hands with soap and running water and to dry thoroughly. We recommend humming the ‘Happy Birthday’ song through twice to make sure you’re washing for long enough,’ Ms Williams concluded.
The Food Safety Information Council has five tips for washing your hands correctly:
  1. Wet your hands and rub together well to build up a good lather with soap as the suds
  2. Don’t forget to wash between your fingers and under your nails - you might have to use a nail brush.
  3. Rinse well under running water to help to carry bacteria and viruses away.
  4. Dry your hands thoroughly on a clean towel. Touching surfaces with moist hands encourages the contamination from the surface to your hands.
  5. Always wash and dry your hands before touching or eating food, after touching raw meat, fish or chicken, using the toilet, changing nappies, blowing your nose or touching a pet.
See a demonstration on how to wash your hands correctly.
Further information:  
Media contact: Lydia Buchtmann, Food Safety Information Council
Tel 0407 626 688

Australian Food Safety Week Update

Australian Food Safety Week will be held from 8 to 14 November 2015. This year’s theme is ‘Did you know?’ (busting the food safety myths). Thanks to the more than 60 organisations from around the country who have already registered their event for the Week.

There are a lot of myths out there about what causes food poisoning so during the Week we will be releasing the latest consumer research about what Australians understand about food safety, plus some simple tips to help people reduce their risk of getting sick.

The shell media release to use for your local event is now available and you can copy it from here.

An online and printable quiz will be available from late October.

For those of you wishing to organise activities such as quizzes, workplace morning teas, library and shopping centre displays during Australian Food Safety Week, a standard package of resources will be available at no cost consisting of 2 poster, 10 brochure, 3 fridge thermometer and 1 DVD. The mailout deadline has been extended by a week to Friday 16 October (only 2 more days). In order to receive the resource package you need to send an email to with the heading Resource order letting us know what type of event you are organizing during Australian Food Safety Week. Please ensure your name, your organisation and full postal address is included in the email.


Food Safety Information Council Chair Report for September2015

I was delivering some thermometers to an EHO at a local Council early this month, and was very happy to be able to have a long chat with him about the FSIC and what we can do to help local councils across the country spread the food safety message to consumers. He was very open in his criticisms and praise for what the FSIC does, and as Chair I took it all in and that evening emailed the Board and all Committee Chairs with his feedback. I think he was a bit surprised to be able to chat with the FSIC Chair and to be able to be as open as he was. I was just writing down everything he said, as there were so many great ideas.
I want the FSIC to always be a very open organisation, so if any member, or possible member, has any ideas, suggestions or feedback about how we can get the food safety message out there to consumers and to help others do so, and what we can offer to our members and sponsors, I want to hear it. Just email me at
Based on the great feedback from this one EHO, we are now doing up a survey on Survey Monkey which we will shortly be sending to all the local councils in Australia, to hopefully get more great ideas and feedback about how we can help them spread the food safety message, not only in Food safety Week but throughout the year.
One of the ideas the EHO suggested was resources in multiple languages, so we are working on that right now. When these are done, we will put them up on the website and will let everyone know in one of our newsletters.
Keeping that whole open communication theme going, we are working on setting up a Member’s Only Page on the website. This will be one of the major benefits of FSIC membership. It will contain the Board minutes and the Chair and Committee Monthly Reports, as well as all of our Newspoll data, survey results and other research. We will be letting current members know how they get access once it is set up, and new members will get the information as part of their Membership Pack.
So an update on what I reported last month. The Business Plan is finalised and was approved at the September Board meeting. This lays out our plan and budget for the 2015 / 16 financial year. The Board will adjust the document as needed throughout the year, as it is a living document, not one just to sit on the shelf and be looked at annually.
Our Constitution and By Laws are still under review to ensure that they meet both the Charity requirements as well as that of the FSIC. Once the Board is comfortable with both documents, they will be sent to members prior to a Special General Meeting.

Rachelle Williams - Chair

The Food Safety Information Council is a health promotion charity which aims to address the estimated 4.1 million cases of food borne illness in Australia each year. Food poisoning results, on average, in 31,920 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to doctors each year.
Copyright © 2015 Food Safety Information Council, All rights reserved.

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