ACT Health Minister, Katy Gallagher MLA, has been kind enough to furnish a list of precautions that should be taken with food this summer.  She is worried about the contamination of food with bacteria or other micro-organisms.

“The risk of disease spread by food is particularly high in Summer because bacteria multiply faster in warm environments, and this can cause serious illness,” Ms Gallagher said.  “The festive season is a time when we all tend to over-indulge and ‘graze’ over longer periods with family and friends, without thinking about leaving food out in summer temperatures.”

The Minister advises:

When shopping, do not leave food articles in a hot car;  buy chilled and frozen food last;  pack cold food in an insulated bag or Esky;  refrigerate food as soon as you arrive home;

At home, set your refrigerator to five degrees centigrade or below, and avoid cramming it;  set your freezer to minus eighteen degrees centigrade or below;  keep raw meat in a container, separated from fresh vegetables and fruit;  store cooked food in a container with a lid;  when preparing food, keep it out of the refrigerator for the shortest time possible;

For the barbecue, choose food items that are easy to handle outdoors;  prepare your meat at home (marinades, skewers, etc.);  wrap meats carefully so that juices do not leak onto other food;  cook meat so that the juices run clear when you prick it, and always put it on a clean plate;  carry food in a cool box – pack plenty of ice or frozen bricks;  carry plenty of water with you, and dispose of waste carefully.

Good advice.  However, I am a little disappointed; I think that she could have thrown in a few recipes while she was at it.  Along with another prawn on the barbie.  Why do our ministers never live up to our expectations?

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