A recent Australian National University (ANU) study on food hygiene has revealed some worrying holes in the food safety knowledge of many Australians. No knowing how to properly handle, store and prepare food could very well be putting people and their families at risk.
The ANU study also included the findings of the Australian Consumers’ Food Safety Report Card, which was released by the Food Safety Information Council last month. The report card assesses the food safety knowledge, or lack there of, of Australian consumers.
Food Poisoning Hits Hard
Professor Michael Eyles, Chairman of the Food Safety Information Council, has reportedly said that food poisoning is responsible for 31,920 hospitalisations, around 1 million doctors visits and 86 deaths Australia wide.
“Australian consumers get an A+ for knowledge of how to wash their hands correctly,” Professor Eyles said. “But there are a number of other food safety practices where there can be room for improvement.”
The results of the study indicated some worrying figures:
Just 33 per cent of people read and follow the storage instructions on food labels
Up to 60 per cent of people are spreading bacteria around their kitchen by washing raw poultry before use
Just 14 per cent of people always read and follow the cooking instructions on food packages
Up to 22 per cent of people believe it is ok to leave rice out of the fridge for up to 6 hours and in some cases, indefinitely
Around 25 per cent of parents pack their children’s lunch without some form of ice pack
16 per cent of people taste chicken to check whether it is cooked rather than using a thermometer
Just 79 per cent of people knew that hamburgers should be cooked through