Food Safety Minister Lianne Dalziel launches Foodsafe Week

12 November 2007

Food Safety Minister Lianne Dalziel and mascot Foodsafe Freddie launched the start of Foodsafe Week on Monday with students from Thorndon Primary School in Wellington.

Together they handed out balloons and stickers to help push home the golden rules of food safety in the home: clean, cook, cover, chill and the 20+20 hand washing rule (20 seconds wash + 20 seconds dry = clean hands).

Lianne Dalziel said: “As warm sunny days become more frequent, our thoughts turn to entertaining friends, picnics and barbeques. Its all too easy to focus on fun and push any thoughts of foodborne illness to the back of our minds, but there’s no better way to spoil a good bash than spending two or three days afterwards suffering from stomach upsets.”

Foodsafe Week, run annually at the start of the summer by the Foodsafe Partnership, serves as a timely reminder that warmer temperatures mean bacteria on food can double in numbers within minutes. Pathogens (bacteria, parasites and viruses that cause illness) are just like people and love nothing better than warm temperatures.

“Following the 4Cs – clean, cook, cover, chill – and the 20+20 hand washing rule are among the most effective ways to ensure you can keep your food safe, and your family healthy.”

Events publicising Foodsafe Week will be running at venues around the country between November 12-19. Check with your local public health unit for more information. Look out, too, for the Partnership’s mascot, Foodsafe Freddie, who will feature extensively in televised advertising campaigns.

Ends

Note to editors: Images of the event are available for download from: http://www.foodsafe.org.nz/node/72

National Foodsafe Week is run by the New Zealand Foodsafe Partnership, made up of representatives from NZFSA, the food industry, consumer groups, public health units and the Ministry of Health, who work together to promote consistent and appropriate food safety messages to consumers and press home the 4Cs: Clean, Cook, Cover, Chill and 20+20 hand wash rule. For more information on the partnership, visit: www.foodsafe.org.nz.

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority has interesting facts about the different types of foodborne illnesses in its ‘Meet the Bugs’ brochure, available on its website: http://www.nzfsa.govt.nz/consumers/food-safety-topics/foodborne-illnesses/meet-the-bugs/index.htm

For further comment contact: Gary Bowering, NZFSA Manager (Communications), 029-894-2532