Food Safety

As the festive season kicks off and we welcome the rise in summer temperatures, the risk of food poisoning at home increases, Minister for Food Safety Dr Ayesha Verrall warns.

“Food poisoning is a significant issue in New Zealand with an estimated 100,000 people getting sick from unsafe food handling practices at home,” Dr Ayesha Verrall said.

“That’s why the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is launching an awareness campaign, reminding consumers to follow the 3 C’s: clean, cook and chill, when handling, cooking and storing raw meats such as poultry, to avoid getting sick and “paying the price”.

“A recent study on consumer food safety behaviour and knowledge revealed most New Zealanders don’t believe food poisoning can be deadly or create long-term, health consequences—and they do believe the food they cook at home is safer than the local takeaway or café.

“The Government is committed to protecting Kiwis from foodborne illnesses. For many Kiwis, food poisoning consists of a few days’ worth of an upset stomach, cramps, bloating and/or vomiting – a few days in bed away from work or school, and not much else.

“However, some people can and do experience more severe forms of foodborne illnesses as a result of picking up harmful bacteria and viruses like Campylobacter, Norovirus, Salmonella, Listeria, Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Bacillus cereus.

“This is especially true for young tamariki, our elderly community, pregnant mothers and Kiwis who suffer from other health issues,” Dr Ayesha Verrall said.

Here are some very easy-to-follow food safety tips for Kiwis this summer:

If in doubt, chuck it out.
Wash your hands, not your chicken.
Cook meat through, don’t poison the crew.
Know the rules, wash your kitchen tools.