It’s Australian Food Safety Week on 10 – 17 November 2018, the theme for this year ‘Food Poisoning – take it seriously! During this Week the aim is to particularly focus on helping those who are at greater risk if they do get food poisoning such as pregnant women, the elderly and people with poor immune systems.

Each year an estimated 4.1 million people get food poisoning in Australia, 1 million Australians must visit a doctor with food poisoning, 32,000 people end up in hospital and 86 people die which is why it is definitely important that we all do take it seriously!

What is food poisoning?

Foodborne illness, more commonly referred to as food poisoning, is the result of eating contaminated, spoiled, or toxic food. The most common symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Food safety tips to reduce risk of food poisoning

See below food safety tips to reduce your risk of Listeria infection as well as other forms of food poisoning:


  • Always wash your hands with soap and running water and dry thoroughly before handling food and keep food utensils and cooking areas clean.


  • Unlike most other food poisoning bacteria, Listeria can grow at refrigeration temperatures, so ready to eat food or leftovers should never be stored in the fridge for more than 24 hours. Since Listeria grows slowly in the fridge, it will do so only very slowly at cold temperatures so make sure your refrigerator is keeping your food at or less than 5°C.


  • Avoid refrigerated foods that are past their ‘use by’ date


  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly and use or freeze within 24 hours


  • Always look for cooking and storage instructions on the food package label and follow them when provided.


  • Cook high risk foods such as poultry, minced meat, sausages, hamburgers and leftovers to 75°C
  • Cook egg dishes, such as quiche, to 72°C in the centre (or until the white is firm and the yolk thickens).

What to do if you get food poisoning?

Food poisoning can usually be treated at home, and most cases will resolve within three to five days.

If you have food poisoning, it’s crucial to remain properly hydrated. If symptoms continue you may need to visit your Doctor.

If you have any concerns about food safety and food poisoning, please see your doctor.

The team at Providence Medical will be happy to assist and are welcoming new patients.

Four convenient locations offering a fresh approach to your health care:

Providence Medical Warners Bay
472 The Esplanade, Warners Bay NSW 2282

Providence Medical & Dental, Belmont
Shop 3-6, Belmont Central Shopping Centre, 1 Singleton St, Belmont NSW 2290

Providence Medical Thornton
4 Bunbury St, Thornton NSW 2322

Providence Medical Anna Bay and Shoal Bay
Ph: 02 4981 2600

Food safety Information Council
Health Line