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What would the Christmas holidays be without food? There’s no better way to enjoy the sunshine and the company of friends and family than with something delicious to eat and share together.

Although food poisoning is a danger all year round, the holiday season poses a  particularly high risk. Bacteria that are normally present in all foods can easily multiply and reach unsafe levels when the temperature rises. Being prepared is the key to making sure everyone gets through the holidays without any bouts of sickness. If you are hosting or attending a large gathering, these extra food safety tips will help reduce your risk of illness:

  • Transport food  in a portable car fridge, insulated cool box or an esky with plenty of ice
  • Keep food cool outdoors
  • Don’t overload your fridge. Keep low risk items such as cool drinks, alcohol and water in eskies to free up fridge space.
  • Always cover meats and store in the fridge at or below 5 °C.

If food that should be kept cold or hot has been left at temperatures between 5 °C and 60 °C for a total of: 

  • less than 2 hours – it must be refrigerated or used immediately
  • more than 2 hours, but less than 4 hours – it must be used immediately
  • more than 4 hours or longer – it must be thrown out. 

If eating outdoors make sure mosquitoes are not welcome guests by using mosquito coils and other similar products and use a repellent containing picaridin or DEET.