Australian Food Safety Week is organised annually by the Australian Food Safety Information Council with events, radio announcements and press releases taking place around the country.
Welcome to Australian Food Safety Week 2014!
Every year has a different theme. This year the theme is the 'Temperature Danger Zone', focusing on the correct temperature at which to store, handle and prepare food.
What Do I Need to Know about the Danger Zone?
The Danger Zone is between 5C and 60C. At this temperature, bacteria thrives and can make potentially hazardous foods dangerous to consume. As a general rule, cold food should be stored below 5C and hot food should always be heated to at least 60C.
It's important that you minimise the amount of time that potentially hazardous foods spend within the danger zone. At AIFS, we advise all of our Food Safety Supervisor trainees to follow the '2 hour / 4 hour rule'.
The '2 hour / 4 hour rule' states that:
- If food is in the danger zone for less than 2 hours, you should consume it immediately or re-store the food at temperatures outside of the danger zone
- If food is in the danger zone for between 2 and 4 hours, then it should be consumed immediately or thrown away. Do not put this food back into storage.
- If food is in the danger zone for more than 4 hours, it must be thrown away and not consumed.
What Are Potentially Hazardous Foods?
Potentially hazardous food are those that are most susceptible to bacteria growth and hence more likely to cause food poisoning. These include:
- Raw and cooked meat or foods containing raw or cooked meat (e.g. casseroles, curries and lasagne)
- Small goods such as salami, ham and chicken slices
- Dairy products such as milk, custard and dairy-based desserts (e.g. cheesecakes and custard tarts)
- Seafood including seafood salad, fish burgers, stews & soups containing seafood or fish stock
- Processed fruits and vegetables (e.g. salads and cut melons)
- Cooked rice and pasta
- Foods containing eggs (e.g. quiche, mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce)
- Foods containing beans, nuts or other protein-rich foods
- Foods that contain any of the above-listed foods (e.g. sandwiches, rolls, cooked and uncooked pizza)
How Can I Find Out More About Food Safety Week?
The Food Safety Information Council has comprehensive information on their website about what's on.
Also check your local council website and listen out on local radio for announcements about Food Safety Week and associated events.