FSIC Newsletter No 11 - August 2015
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Salmonella - find out more 

There have been a number of salmonella outbreaks, including a recent one in Melbourne. A study by the ANU has found Salmonella cases have increased by 24% in Australia over that last 10 years.

Salmonella food poisoning (salmonellosis) is usually linked to consuming inadequately cooked meats or poultry, other foods contaminated by raw meats and poultry, as well as foods containing raw or undercooked eggs, unpasteurised dairy products such as raw milk or cheeses. But many other foods have been linked to outbreaks caused by Salmonella including mayonnaise (with raw eggs), fruits and vegetables, salads, milk, unpasteurised fruit juices, nuts, seeds and sprouted seeds. It gets into other foods by cross contamination from contact with raw foods, utensils, equipment and hands. In Australia, salmonellosis tends to be more prevalent in the warmer, northern parts of the country and eating food that has been kept in the temperature danger zone for too long allowing the bacteria to grow is often the cause of the illness. However, even small numbers of Salmonella can cause foodborne disease. Sensitive individuals such as the elderly, young children and people with low immune systems, are much more likely to become ill after consuming only a small number of cells.

It usually takes 8 to 72 hours for symptoms of salmonellosis to occur, but can take up to a few weeks, so it is not necessarily the last meal you ate that caused it. Salmonella causes a ‘gastro-flu-like’ infection which in most cases lasts about two to five days. However, in some people it can lead to chronic conditions such as Reiter’s Syndrome or reactive arthritis.

National Science Week

National Science Week starts on 15 August - check out the Science behind our work 

Food Safety Information Council Chair Report for July 2015

The highlight of this month was, of course, the Planning Day held at CSIRO in Sydney on 15 July. I want to thank Cathy Moir and CSIRO for hosting the day and for the very lovely lunch.
I also want to thank Duncan Craig, our Planning Co-ordinator, for doing a brilliant job in arranging, what is probably, one of the most important planning days in the history of the Council.
At the Executive meeting in June it was agreed to recognise Dr Micheal Eyles for his service during his eight years as the Chair (this makes him the longest serving Chair). This means that FSIC now has three Lifetime Members, including Brigitte Cox and Lydia Buchtmann. I was very honoured, as Chair, to be able to personally present Lydia with her Certificate on Planning Day [see photo Rachelle left Lydia right].
The main aim of the annual planning day for the Council has always been deciding on the theme for Food Safety Week for the year. This was once again achieved at Planning Day 2015 and it’s a good one. It is going to be fun and we will be able to use it not only in Food Safety Week this year but into our Summer campaign as well.
It was agreed that we will be having a launch for this year’s Food Safety Week, so we have starting developing a timeline for actions to be taken to achieve this.
This Planning Day was mostly spent in looking at the Council and what it is, where it is going and how it can get there – in other words, strategic planning.
It was a warts and all look at the structure, the Constitution and the finances, and decisions were made which will help us set up the Food Safety Information Council for a very bright future.
There will be some changes coming up, but at all times the Food Safety Information Council is dedicated to providing science based food safety information to the consumers of this country.
We have a couple of new members, Kelvin Genn from Catercare and Jennifer Semple from Accord, and I would like to take this opportunity to personally welcome them to the Food Safety Information Council.
Rachelle Williams


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