Keeping our food safe

Training: Hospital and aged care staff attended the training (left to right) K. Casper, M. McDonald, C. Jared, C. Lembdem, T. Craig.
Training: Hospital and aged care staff attended the training (left to right) K. Casper, M. McDonald, C. Jared, C. Lembdem, T. Craig.

About 40 people brushed up on their food handling skills last week as they attended a free food safety training session, put on by TAFE SA.

While food safety training is mandatory for industries such as aged care, childcare and hospital staff, plenty of volunteers also attended as they brushed up on their food safety knowledge. There were representatives from the Lions club, Royal Flying Doctor Service, as well as those who work in the food industry.

Nigel Plunkett from TAFE SA ran the sessions, and explained that volunteers must have adequate skills and knowledge in regards to food safety, and that cases of food poisoning have doubled in the last five years. “People can die from food poisoning,” he said. “People don’t realise how easy it is to catch.

“Councils are starting to monitor food business to make sure they are compliant.”

The course, which ran over three hours, touched on standard hygiene practices, gave tips on how to keep food safe, such as using different coloured chopping boards and the penalties for serving unsafe food.

“(The fine is) $80,000 for having out of date products on their shelves,” Mr Plunkett said. “If in doubt, chuck it out.”

The program brings the training all over SA, especially to regional communities where it can be difficult, especially volunteers to access the information and training.

Mr Plunkett said the course was delivered to Bordertown, Millicent, Kingston. Robe and Naracoorte last week.

“We can come and deliver the training, by being able to access the free training… (it has) has allowed us to run the class today and get volunteers here.

“For volunteers they give up their time and what of them don’t realise is that the legislation affects them as well and it’s about safeguarding themselves…people don’t realise if you get it wrong, it can cause a lot of problems.

“The program’s been going around five years now, and it’s been huge.

“It really gives people a boost to keep doing what they’re doing, and that’s why this funding we’ve been able to access is great.”