Remember these important food safety tips to reduce the risk of Listeria infection as well as other forms of food poisoning:
- Always wash your hands with soap and running water and dry thoroughly before handling food and keep food utensils and cooking areas clean
- Unlike most other food poisoning bacteria, Listeria can grow at refrigeration temperatures, so ready to eat food or leftovers should never be stored in the fridge for more than 24 hours. Since Listeria grows slowly in the fridge, it will do so only very slowly at cold temperatures so make sure your refrigerator is keeping your food at or less than 5°C.
- Avoid refrigerated foods that are past their ‘use by’ date
- Refrigerate leftovers promptly and use within 24 hours or freeze
- Always look for cooking and storage instructions on the food package label and follow them when provided.
- Cook high risk foods such as poultry, minced meat, sausages, hamburgers and leftovers to 75°C
- Cook egg dishes, such as quiche, to 72°C in the centre (or until the white is firm and the yolk thickens)
- Cook frozen fruit and vegetables.