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Fourth person dies from eating Listeria contaminated rockmelon

A fourth person has died from listeria contracted from eating contaminated rockmelons

The latest equates to 2 people from NSW and 2 from Victoria have been killed by the outbreak.

There are now 17 confirmed cases of listeriosis around the country linked to the contaminated rockmelons.

The listeria contaminated rockmelons have been linked to a farm in southern NSW.

Eating foods that contain Listeria bacteria does not cause illness in most people, but in high risk groups it can result in severe illness and even death. High risk groups include infants, the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

The infection starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea and sometimes diarrhoea.

The fruit has been pulled from supermarket shelves across the country as a result.

Listeria outbreak linked to rockmelon

Listeria outbreak has been linked to the humble rockmelon

After a recent spike in listeriosis cases, consumers are advised to avoid eating rockmelon, or canteloupe.

Eating foods that contain Listeria bacteria does not cause illness in most people, but in high risk groups it can result in severe illness and even death. High risk groups include infants, the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

As a precaution people are advised to discard any rockmelon they already have in their homes.

The NSW Food Authority is working with the grower and has advised that affected rockmelons are being removed from the supply chain.

If you are feeling unwell and suspect you have consumed the affected product, please seek medical attention.

 

Poor food handling can cost food venues

Poor food handling can have devastating costs on food businesses

Strict food safety requirements must be followed by all food businesses in Australia.  Recently we saw the closure of a restaurant owned by top chef Matt Moran in Brisbane after it was temporarily closed due to food handling issues.

The restaurant was closed by a Council Officer following an assessment which found “deficiencies” in food handling processes.

Food businesses are required to meet strict food safety standards.  All complaints made to Councils about food safety are investigated and food businesses can be closed if they present a health risk to the public.  All food safety standards must be met.

Don’t run the risk of being non-compliant with food safety requirements!  This could have devastating costs and harsh effects to your business and your customers.  Click here to enrol into CFT Food Safety Supervisor online training-

Food Safety Supervisor

Keeping your child’s lunchbox safe

This post gives you simple lunchbox food safety tips, issued by the Food Safety Information Council.

Keeping your kid’s lunchbox safe

The typical Australian summer sizzling heat and our kids are getting ready to return to school here are 5 simple lunchbox food safety tips, issued by the Food Safety Information Council:

– When buying lunchboxes choose ones that have room for a frozen drink or freezer block and are easy to clean and dry.
– Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before preparing food.
– Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
– Make sure lunchbox foods are always well separated from other foods in the refrigerator, particularly raw meats, chicken and fish.
– Keep the lunch cool in the fridge until you are about to leave home.

Food Safety Information Council Chair, Rachelle Williams advised ‘We need to transport food to school safely to ensure our kids don’t become one of the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year. Bacteria can grow quickly in some foods, like cooked poultry and other meats, dairy products and sandwich fillings, so it is important to keep their lunchbox cool.

‘At school your child’s lunchbox will stay cool until lunchtime if kept in their school bag with a frozen drink or freezer block inside the lunchbox,’ Ms Williams concluded.

Cooling Potentially Hazardous Food

A common contributing factor to food poisoning in a food business is incorrect temperature zone. This is when food is held for too long at temperatures where harmful food poisoning bacteria can grow.

It is important that food businesses make sure cooked potentially hazardous food (PHF) has been cooled in accordance to Food Standards Code:

A food business must cool the food:
• within two hours – from 60°C
to 21°C, and
• within a further four hours –
from 21°C to 5°C.

Do you understand your responsibilities as a food business owner?  Don’t leave your customers and your business at risk!

Aussies eating out more often

The NPD Group has reported that foodservice spend is up in Australia for the second quarter of 2017.

The Australian economy posted a slight uptick this quarter. Consumer sentiment remains low, and consumer pricing continues to outpace wage growth for the second consecutive quarter. Some signs of recovery are starting to appear, but more must be done to improve the overall economic situation.

Despite the prevailing economic pressure, consumer spending in foodservice is up this quarter from +1% in Q1 2017. Visits and average eater cheque contributed equally to the growth in spend.

As consumers become increasingly cautious about their spending, quick service restaurants (QSR) and retail are reaping the benefit. Retail captured far more than its fair share of industry-wide traffic growth, with supermarkets posting the majority of gains for the channel.

Families remain a bright spot in the foodservice industry, with visits up again this quarter.

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