Food poisoning Keep food safe Food poisoning, with its symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps, is a very unpleasant illness from which most of us will recover. However, for some people, including young children and the frail elderly, it can be life threaten- ing or can leave sufferers with serious health Reheat rapidly to problems. Essential food safety 60ºC or hotter practices One cause of food poisoning is bacteria that have had the opportunity to multiply in food. Bacteria that have the chance to multiply in food cause food poisoning in two ways. They either multiply in foods to sufficient numbers to make us ill or, as they multiply, they produce poisons in the food that cause illness. Cool food rapidly to Keeping food at the right temperature will prevent Cool and reheat 5ºC or colder food poisoning bacteria that might be in the food from multiplying. food safely—to the right temperatures Remember Food Standards Australia New Zealand developed this • Prepare food quickly leaflet for State and Territory governments. Food Standards Australia New Zealand website is at • Cook food thoroughly www.foodstandards.gov.au • Cool and reheat food rapidly For food safety fact sheets and information on your food safety obligations contact your local • Store, display and government council transport food either chilled or hot For food safety fact sheets and information on your food safety obligations contact your local government council Council contact details Which types of food must be Cooling food safely Reheating food safely cooled and reheated safely? The types of food that must be cooled and What is the problem? What is the problem? reheated safely are called potentially hazardous food. Food poisoning bacteria that may have survived Food poisoning bacteria will start to multiply the cooking process will start to multiply as hot when chilled food is reheated to temperatures Examples of potentially hazardous food food cools down. above 5ºC. They will stop multiplying when the that are likely to be cooled and reheated food reaches 60ºC. The longer it takes for food to Once the food has dropped in temperature to 60ºC reheat to 60ºC the greater the number of bacteria ∗ Cooked meat or cooked food or below bacteria will multiply. Their numbers that may be in the food. containing meat, such as casseroles, will increase as the food cools to 5ºC. The longer curries and lasagne the food takes to cool the greater the number of How can I prevent food poisoning bacteria ∗ Cooked food containing smallgoods bacteria in the food. from multiplying? (e.g. strasbourg, ham and chicken loaf ), such as pizza topping How can I prevent food poisoning bacteria Reheat food rapidly. The recommended ∗ Dairy products, such as milk and from multiplying? maximum time to reheat food is 2 hours. custard ∗ Sauces containing cream or milk Cool the food as quickly as possible. The Food The Food Safety Standards require you to reheat ∗ Seafood including patties, fish balls, stews and Safety Standards require you to cool potentially potentially hazardous food that you are going to sauces containing seafood and fish stock hazardous food in the following times hold hot e.g. in a bain-marie, rapidly to 60ºC or ∗ Cooked rice and pasta hotter and display or store it at that temperature or ∗ Foods containing eggs, beans, nuts or other protein From 60ºC to 21ºC in a maximum of 2 hours hotter. rich foods such as quiche, soy bean products and and from 21ºC to 5ºC in a maximum of 4 hours lentil burgers The Food Safety Standards do not specify a What are some ways I can cool food temperature for reheating food to serve This list may not include every type of food. If rapidly? immediately e.g. a portion of lasagna. It is good you are doubtful about a particular food the practice to reheat all food rapidly to at least 70ºC Environmental Health Officer at your local ∗ Place food to cool in the refrigerator or cool- and hold it at that temperature or council will be able to assist. room as soon as it stops steaming hotter for at least 2 minutes. ∗ Portion food before cooling for example, slice You must have a thermometer to check meats and cut large poultry into smaller portions Do I have to cool or reheat food in the the temperature of the food ∗ Place liquid foods such as stews and casseroles times in the Food Safety Standards? in shallow containers no more than 5 cm deep If you handle potentially hazardous food you ∗ Ensure cool air can circulate round the food – so You are allowed to take longer to cool food and to must have a probe thermometer accurate to place food containers on shelves, not on the different temperatures but only if you can prove +/-1ºC to check the temperature of your food. floor. that the cooling process will not make the food unsafe to eat. Remember to clean and sanitise the thermometer before you insert it into food. A fact sheet on If you want to reheat food slowly or to a lower thermometers is available from your local temperature you will have to prove that the council. reheating process will not make the food unsafe to eat. .