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Keep your steak safe this weekend

If you’re planning to throw a steak on the barbie this Australia Day weekend don’t let poorly prepared food see your guests remember the party for all the wrong reasons.

Queensland Health’s Executive Director Health Protection Ms Sophie Dwyer said with many families and friends getting together at the weekend, it was important for Queenslanders to make food safety a priority.

"Unfortunately, there have already been 344 cases of campylobacter and 468 cases of salmonellosis in Queensland this year," Ms Dwyer said.

"When the weather is hot, the fridge is overloaded and food is being prepared for large groups of people it’s important to take care. These conditions can often be perfect for food poisoning bugs to appear in our food and result in stomach upsets, vomiting or diarrhoea."

Ms Dwyer said storing raw meats correctly at the bottom of your fridge prevented any juices dripping on to ready to eat food like salads or desserts.

"When it comes to storing your food, keep it simple and keep hot food hot and cold food cold," Ms Dwyer said.

"Hot food should be kept at  60ºC or above until served while cold food should be stored at 5ºC or below so if you are heading outdoors be sure to take an esky with ice.

"If you’re going to be producing egg products such as mayonnaise ensure they are kept cold and that you wash your hands after handling these products.

"After handling raw food and before eating make sure you wash your hands or if you aren’t at home take disposable wipes or hand sanitizer.

"While the steaks are sizzling, make sure you check mince and sausages are cooked right through to ensure all harmful bacteria have been destroyed. Also, remember not to return cooked meat products to the same plate raw products were placed on.

"If you’re picking seafood over steak then in should be purchased from a trusted supplier, transported home on ice and kept well refrigerated until served."

Ms Dwyer said planning ahead was the key to keeping yourself and your guests safe.

"Keep your kitchen clean and tidy and when the party is over, don’t leave food or dirty dishes out on benches," she said.

"Don’t forget to give your barbecue a clean so that it is ready for the next time you entertain."

For more information on how to get ready for your Australian Day weekend go to http://www.qld.gov.au/health/staying-healthy/environmental/food/index.html

Last updated: 23 January 2015