Monday 14 November 2016
‘Raw and Risky’ is the theme for the 20th Australian Food Safety Week.
Mishandling of raw or uncooked foods, particularly eggs are a significant contributor to foodborne illnesses in Australia and Bega Valley Shire Council is working to increase awareness of the risks.
Amanda McKenna, Bega Valley Shire Council’s Cadet Environmental Health Officer said there have been a number of food poisoning outbreaks in recent years linked to eggs and other uncooked or lightly cooked food.
“Foods like dessert mousses and tiramisu as well as sauces and dressing like fresh made mayonnaise, aioli, hollandaise and egg-butter,” Ms McKenna said.
While eggs are a simple, cost effective and nutritious part of our diet, it’s important to know that eggs can be contaminated with the bacterium Salmonella, and can be a source of food poisoning if not handled and cooked properly.
Some handy hints for safe egg handling are:
“If you have your own hens, keep the nesting material and litter clean and dry and change it regularly,” Ms McKenna said.
“Gather eggs from their nesting places daily. Carefully check any eggs for cracks, wipe off visible dirt with a dry cloth or paper towel but don’t wash the eggs as this can transfer contamination through the porous shell into the egg.
“Always remember to wash your hands with soap and water and dry thoroughly after handling eggs. If your children and grandchildren have been helping to collect the eggs be sure they wash their hands too,” Ms McKenna said.
To help promote the message, Bega Valley Shire Council will be holding a competition.
The prize will be one of six egg separators; the first six correct answers drawn will each win a prize.
The community can email or write to Council answering the following food safety question:
What foodborne illness is most commonly linked to raw eggs?
Mail to: Environmental Health Team PO Box 492, Bega NSW 2550
The prizes will be drawn after the last mail on 30 November 2016.
Photograph: One of the egg separators you can win in Council’s Food Safety Week competition.