How To Avoid The Dreaded Food Poisoning This Christmas

Over a thousand cases last summer

How To Avoid The Dreaded Food Poisoning This Christmas

Christmas is a great reason to eat all of the food, but it's no reason to slacken off on food safety.

New South Wales Health is warning us to be wary of food poisoning, especially Salmonella, as summer temps rise during the festive season.

There's already been 201 cases of Salmonellosis reported in the state last month alone, and the symptoms include fever, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. (Not cute)

How Do I Prevent It?

Do: Prepare and handle food in a clean environment, making sure benches and utensils are washed and dried before use.

Do: Cook your food thoroughly to kill off any bacteria.

Do: Keep refrigerated food at under five degrees Celsius

Do: Keep hot food at above 60 degrees Celsius.

Don't: Let raw food come into contact with cooked food.

Don't: Leave food out in the heat for too long. No abandoned prawn or chicken wing is worth the risk!


What Foods Are The Worst Offenders?

Foods made with undercooked eggs are the most common source of outbreaks in NSW, so be careful if you plan to make any "experimental" desserts, and cook your eggs thoroughly if you're making home made salad dressings.

Chicken is also a high risk food, so try to get it eaten within the first couple of hours of being out of the oven.

There can even be a risk of Salmonella on salads and fresh fruit and veg, so wash them carefully before preparing them.

What Happens If I Get It?

With these tips, you won't - but usually plenty of fluids and rest is the only way to recover. Antibiotics may be needed for more serious cases.

Dr Vicki Sheppeard from NSW Health said you should also stay away from friends and family if you end up getting sick.

“Salmonellosis can take the joy out of the festive season but just a few simple precautions with the preparation and storage of food can make all the difference.”

For further information, see the Salmonellosis fact sheet on the NSW Health website.