Don't chicken out on food safety

06 June 2023

CQUniversity Commercial Cookery Teacher Adrian Newby has used World Food Safety Day (WFSD) to urge all food handlers to prepare their meat correctly when cooking.

The fifth World Food Safety Day will be celebrated today (7 June 2023) to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agricultural production, market access, tourism and sustainable development.

Mr Newby said that outdated and incorrect meat preparation practices, such as washing chicken before cooking, are unsafe and can have an adverse effect by creating an unhygienic environment.

“Food safety authorities and regulators around the world recommend you don’t wash raw poultry before cooking,” he said.

“You should never wash the chicken because it has the potential to splash bacteria around the kitchen – contaminating surfaces, equipment and other food.

“This is the same for all types of meat.”

He explained that modern processing techniques mean chicken carcasses do not need additional cleaning.

“Cooking chicken thoroughly, to an internal temperature of 75 °C, kills the bacteria,” Mr Newby said.

“Food safety interconnects through many critical control points, all the way along the preparation and service of a dish.

“So, what is important to wash is your hands and any equipment, chopping boards or utensils, to avoid cross-contamination between raw chicken and ready-to-eat food.”

As a teacher in CQUniversity’s Commercial Cookery and Hospitality courses, Mr Newby said following these food safety practices are nothing new for his students who are trained with the skills and knowledge to work hygienically when handling food and ensure the safety of food during its storage, preparation, display, service and disposal.

“There is new legislation from 8 December 2023 which is set to advance food handler knowledge by ensuring training is kept up to date, all food handlers are trained, and proper records are kept at businesses to demonstrate food is safe,” he explained.

“Currently we teach a Nationally recognised qualification and adhere to the learning outcomes found in the SITSS00051 – Food Safety Supervision Skill Set.

“Applied learning is the focus of our polytechnical organisation and our new qualification SITSS00069 - Food Safety Supervision Skill Set, starting for CQUniversity in 2024.”

He added that anyone who is looking to improve their food safety practices, whether that be for a career in the hospitality industry or in a home setting, can enrol in the short course SITSS00069 - Food Safety Supervision Skill Set from next year.