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Food Safety in Food Technology

It’s World Food Safety Day today! World Food Safety Day is celebrated on the 7th of June every year since it was proclaimed by the United Nations in 2018. The day is about recognising the importance of producing and consuming safe food with the aim of preventing foodborne illness. This year’s theme is ‘safe food today for a healthy tomorrow’, recognising how the consumption of safe and healthy food can help us to meet future needs and achieve future goals.

Thankfully, in Australia, and in other nations such as New Zealand, we have high standards when it comes to food safety. This is mostly due to the work conducted by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). FSANZ was established in 1991 under the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act, and since then, it has worked to ensure consumers have confidence that the food they purchase is safe for them to consume. Without this body and the high standards it sets, the rate of foodborne illness in this country could be much higher. Even though we have such high food safety standards in Australia, we all have a role in ensuring the safety of food we prepare.

Food safety is an integral part of what we teach in Food Technology, and hence, it’s important we observe this day. It is critical our students know about the importance of food safety and what they can do to reduce the risk of foodborne illness in the dishes they prepare. So, we’ve developed a list of five tips for ensuring food safety in food technology.

Educate your students

It’s important that our students are taught the importance of food safety from the moment they step into our classrooms. Students will cover food safety as part of syllabus and outcome requirements, but there’s no harm in them revisiting this content regularly throughout the year. Make sure they are aware of the consequences of failing to ensure food safety in the kitchen. Teacher PD has a number of fun have resources available that can help you achieve this including Food Safety Snap and Foodborne Illness – The Case Files.

Personal hygiene

Personal hygiene is another critical way to prevent a foodborne illness outbreak in the school kitchen. In addition to handwashing, students should also ensure they are wearing no jewellery that could accidently fall into a food product, have no nail polish on that could contaminate food and ensure their long hair is tied back. It’s also important to explain to students that they should wear blue bandaids on any cuts or abrasions on their hands to ensure they are easily spotted should they contaminate a food product.

Avoiding cross contamination

Cross contamination can occur when bacteria on raw foods is transferred to foods that are ready to eat or have already been prepared. There are a couple of simple ways to reduce the risk of cross contamination in the school kitchen. One of these is using different coloured chopping boards. Ask your cherubs to use one coloured board for chopping products such as raw meat, another colour for vegetables and a different colour again for cooked products. Another tip for preventing cross contamination is ensuring your students rinse their knives between uses. This can reduce the risk of bacteria moving from one product to another.

Store food appropriately

It’s important students know whether foods need to be stored in the fridge, freezer or pantry. In addition to this, remind students that some foods have other, lesser known, storage requirements such as keeping meat products on the bottom shelf of the fridge or keeping potatoes in a dark location.

We hope these tips will inspire your students to strive for excellence when it comes to ensuring food safety in food technology this World Food Safety Day.

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