Lunchbox food safety tips

Studies undertaken by scientists from the New South Wales Food Authority (NSWFA) have revealed an alarming presence of harmful bacteria in school lunch boxes. The studies, conducted in 2006 and 2009 during hot summer days, focused on storage temperatures of school lunch boxes.

The results of the NSWFA studies revealed high levels of bacteria growth in lunch boxes without a “temperature control device” such as a frozen drink or ice brick. Lunch boxes containing frozen drink or ice brick had 3 times lower levels of bacteria than lunch boxes stored at ambient temperature. Put simply, the warmer food is, and the longer it stays warm, the more bacteria grow.

The studies revealed round a quarter of packed school lunches do not include an ice brick or frozen water bottle. So there is an opportunity for many households to take essential steps to improve the safety of their school lunches.

What can you do to improve lunch box food safety?

The NSWFA and QLD Health recommend the following steps to keep school lunches cooler and minimise the growth of bacteria:

  • When choosing a lunchbox, look for one that is easy to clean and dry. Use insulated lunch boxes or cooler bags.
  • Place a frozen drink bottle or ice brick inside the lunch box or bag, next to foods that should be kept cold
  • Avoid high-risk foods like soft cheese, deli meats and home-made mayonnaise.
  • If making lunch ahead of time, freeze it or keep it in the fridge until leaving for school.
  • Some foods are safe without a frozen ice pack or other cold sources. These include whole fruits, vegetables, hard cheeses, canned meat and fish, bread, crackers and some spreads.
  • Encourage children to keep packed lunches away from heat sources such as direct sunlight.
  • Encourage children to discard all leftover food after eating, including disposable food packaging like cling wrap or paper bags. Don’t reuse these items.

To read the findings of the study and for more tips on safe school lunch box packing, visit the NSWFA website.

ISO22000

Introduction to ISO 22000:2018

Whatever their size, or product, all food producers have a responsibility to manage the safety of their products and the well-being of their consumers. That’s why HACCP and ISO 22000 exists.

The consequences of unsafe food can be serious. Food safety management standards help organisations identify and control food safety hazards. Applicable to all types of producer, ISO 22000:2018 provides a layer of reassurance within the global food supply chain, helping products cross borders and bringing people food that they can trust.

Food Safety Plus offers ISO 22000 training at your place of work.

Call us today for an obligation free quotation (08) 9305 0212

Learn how to embed continual improvement at the heart of your organisation through an ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System (FSMS). The revised standard is an opportunity for your organisation to increase it’s focus on improving food safety performance.

Identify the structure and requirements of an effective management system, and what this means for you. Gain a thorough insight into food safety management systems and the key concepts and structure of ISO 22000, key terms, definitions and the ISO standardized high level structure. You’ll learn to interpret and apply the key concepts and principles of the standard to existing processes within your organization.

Who should attend?

Anyone involved in the planning, implementing, maintaining, supervising, or auditing of an ISO 22000 food safety management system.

What will I learn?

You will learn:

  • What a Food Safety Management System (FSMS) is
  • Why a FSMS is important to an organization and its benefits
  • The background of ISO 22000:2018 and its intended results
  • The terms and definitions used
  • The key concepts and structure of ISO 22000:2018
  • The main requirements of ISO 22000:2018

How will I benefit?

This course will help you to understand the ISO 22000 food safety management system organizations requirements relative to:

  • The ability to consistently provide safe foods and relevant products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements
  • Addressing risks associated with its objectives
  • The ability to demonstrate conformity to specified food safety management system requirements

Call us today for more information (08) 9305 0212

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Global food security and nutrition

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recently released report “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World” shows that hunger is again on the rise. The report shows that the prevalence of undernourishment has stabilised, but the absolute number of undernourished people continues to rise.

The report notes that whilst world population has grown steadily, many countries have not witnessed sustained growth. The economy of many countries has not grown as much as expected and factors including conflict and climate change have led to major changes in the way food is produced, distributed and consumed, creating new food security and nutrition challenges.

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Postponing HACCP Certification and Regulatory Food Safety Audits Due to Coronavirus

With the introduction of the Social Distancing Rules, the health and safety of our clients and team is our first priority and it is important we take a pro-active and measured approach to reduce the spread of COVID-19. With these extenuating circumstances in mind, we have decided to implement a procedure to defer all face to face interactions including audits, consulting and training.

We will continue to be available to assist you during this difficult period so please do not hesitate to contact us on:

Phone: (08) 9305 0212

Email:  Edward (edward@foodsafetyplus.com.au) directly.

We will also shortly be in touch with individual clients to reschedule audits and training programs as new information becomes available.

Stay safe and healthy!

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Fresh Produce Food Safety

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand (FPSC A-NZ) has released an updated version of the Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety. Launched at a recent industry conference and trade show, the guidelines are designed to assist all entities involved in the fresh produce supply chain to identify and assess potential food safety hazards.

The Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety 2019 will ensure Australian produce has the highest safety standards of any produce anywhere in the world. These guidelines set out the procedures and steps to prevent or respond to contamination, and covers a comprehensive list of practices and potential hazards to assist growers, packers, transporters, wholesalers and retailers along the supply chain

The needles in strawberries scare of 2018 was an example of an incident that caused damage to the strawberry industry, resulting in supermarkets pulling strawberries off shelves and tonnes of fruit being thrown away at the peak of the growing season. Investigations by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) identified potential weaknesses in the supply chain, resulting in several recommendations to government and industry outlined in the strawberry tampering incident report.

With so many links in the supply chain, it can be difficult to identify where a particular hazard originated, hence the need for a comprehensive set of guidelines applicable to the entire produce supply chain.

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