Food Poisoning – take it seriously!’ announced as the Australian Food Safety Week 2018 theme

The following is a media release from the Food Safety Information Council Ltd, and is included here with permission.

The theme for Australian Food Safety Week, to be held from 10 to 17 November 2018, was announced today as ‘Food Poisoning – take it seriously!’
Food Safety Information Council Chair, Rachelle Williams, said 2018 has been a horror year so far for food poisoning.
‘The Listeria outbreak linked to Australian rockmelons earlier this year resulted in 6 tragic deaths and a woman miscarrying, this was followed by a recall of imported frozen vegetables which was linked to 47 listeria cases and 9 deaths in Europe. About 26 people in Australia contracted hepatitis A from imported frozen pomegranates and a woman died in June,’ Ms Williams said.
‘We know food poisoning is a serious issue so this year we are calling on people who have been affected by food poisoning to share their stories to help us get our food safety messages across. You can use this link to let us know your story, either identified or anonymously, and how it affected you and your family.
‘During the 2018 Australian Food Safety Week we particularly want to help those who are at greater risk if they do get food poisoning such as pregnant women, the elderly and people with poor immune systems.
‘A downloadable package of material for use in Australian Food Safety Week events, including a draft media release, an online quiz and posters will be available in September 2018.
‘The 2017 Australian Food Safety Week ‘Is it done yet? Use a thermometer for great food, cooked safely every time’ was highly successful:
• We produced a TV community service announcement that was screened 366 times and 3 radio announcements were aired 4,100 times, including to specific indigenous audiences.
• Our YouTube video was shown in 49,000 GP surgeries reaching an audience of 14 million a month.
• The media coverage reached a known audience of 1,186,076.
• 1650 posters, 3300 brochures and 682 fridge thermometers were distributed to community events around the country.
• A pre and post campaign survey found a 1% increase in safe cooking temperature knowledge and that cooking temperature knowledge was higher among people who owned thermometers.
‘We greatly appreciate sponsorship for this year’s Australian Food Safety Week from Food Standards Australia New Zealand for our radio announcements and SA Health for our consumer research. We are still seeking sponsorship towards the $10,000 cost for our TV community service announcement and YouTube video. If you are interested we would love to hear from you by email at info@foodsafety.asn.au or 0407 626 688’, Ms Williams concluded.
The Food Safety Information Council Ltd is Australia’s leading disseminator of consumer-targeted food safety information which aims to address the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year that result in 31,920 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to doctors on average each year.
Media contact: Lydia Buchtmann: info@foodsafety.asn.au T 0407 626 688

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