Handling and preparing food

Ensure work surfaces, utensils and cutting boards have been cleaned and sanitised before being used to handle and prepare food. Safe food handling and preparation practices include:

  • washing hands well in soapy water for at least 10 to 15 seconds before preparing food, before eating and after touching raw meats and eggs
  • asking other people to prepare food if you are not feeling well
  • never placing cooked foods on dishes that have contained raw products such as meat, poultry and fish, unless the plates have been thoroughly washed first
  • never use a sauce on cooked food if it has been previously used to marinate raw meat or seafood, unless the marinade has been cooked first or will be cooked. For example, do not spoon the uncooked juices or marinade over the cooked food and serve. The uncooked marinade will probably contain harmful bacteria.

Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables (except sprouts, rockmelons or pre-washed salads) if they are to be eaten raw.

Perishable foods should not be left unrefrigerated for long periods of time. If perishable foods have to be out of refrigeration, the following time limits can be applied to ensure that they remain safe to eat.

  • Between 0 to 2 hours: use immediately or refrigerate at ≤5°C
  • 2 to 4 Hours: use immediately/consume – do not return to refrigeration!
  • After 4 Hours: Discard