Food business newsletter

Eggs and Salmonella update

egg pic

The consumption of eggs and raw egg based products (such as mayonnaise, aioli, hollandaise sauce, mousse, tiramisu) has been linked to an increase in human cases of Salmonella. It is important to handle and prepare eggs safely to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

Shire Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) have been working with local food businesses including egg producers to identify and manage the risk of Salmonella by:

  • Inspecting registered egg producers and controlling sale of unregistered eggs
  • Checking that food businesses only use registered eggs
  • Recommending against the use of raw egg (for example in mayo and sauces)
  • Encouraging use of pasteurised egg product as a substitute to raw egg
  • Ensuring all food handling staff have adequate food safety skills and knowledge, including hand washing, correct storage, temperature control, risks of cross-contamination, and general cleaning and sanitising

The most recent data on Salmonella notifications shows we are now reducing this trend, however notifications in WA are still higher than the rest of Australia, and significantly higher than other developed countries such as New Zealand, UK, Europe, USA and Canada.

salmonella graph

Campylobacter update

raw chicken

Around half of all reported bacterial gastrointestinal infections in Western Australia are due to Campylobacter infection – which is an infection of the digestive tract (or gut) caused by Campylobacter bacteria.

How do I get campylobacter infection?

Campylobacter can be found in the gut and faeces (poo) of animals and is commonly found in or on raw poultry. Infection occurs when the bacteria is ingested by:

  • eating contaminated, undercooked meat, especially chicken
  • drinking contaminated water or unpasteurised milk
  • eating food (such as salad) that has been cross-contaminated with Campylobacter from raw meats/poultry
  • handling young pets, other animals, raw meat and pet meat
  • person-to-person spread. This is less common but can still happen when there is contact with tiny amounts of poo from an infected person such as through close personal contact, or by touching contaminated surfaces e.g. taps, toilet flush buttons, toys and nappies.

Allergy awareness

nuts

What do you do if a customer tells you they have a food allergy? You must ensure that all food handlers and wait staff know how to manage questions and requests from customers with allergies.

Online food safety program - FoodSafe

FoodSafe is an online food safety training program developed by Environmental Health Officers, consumers and the food industry. FoodSafe training for individuals is offered free on the Shire website.

45 food handlers have completed the FoodSafe training since July 2019.

Food businesses are encouraged to implement the FoodSafe training program to:

  • introduce staff to basic food safety training
  • ensure that staff are allergen aware (this was not covered in the I’m Alert training)
  • receive completed certificates for staff

The FoodSafe online program covers the following topics:

  • Temperature: monitor and record temperatures of appliances and practices within the business
  • Cleaning: develop and implement a cleaning schedule
  • Returns: record what you do with the food that has been recalled or returned
  • Maintenance: monitor and record food premises maintenance
  • Health: record if a food handler is sick while at work
  • Pest control: monitor and record pest control activities
  • Allergens: develop an allergen control procedure
  • Internal audits: complete an in-house hygiene audit to confirm all staff are trained and safe food handling practices are in place.

The FoodSafe online training takes participants around 30 minutes to complete. The program goes through the above topics with easy to follow instructions, short videos and quizzes. A certificate of completion is issued upon completion.

You can access the FoodSafe online program for free on the Shire’s website:

  1. Go to the Shire website and navigate to the Environmental Health area and then ‘food’:
  2. Add the program to the cart
  3. Enter details and click ‘shipping method’
  4. Under ‘payment details’ you will see a ‘redeem online voucher’ section
  5. Enter the Shire’s unique discount code: FSAUGMR317
  6. You will receive the discount and a link to the online training module

Each member of staff will need to sign up and complete the above to complete the program. There are also options for businesses to purchase and implement the FoodSafe training pack which includes workbooks and the package on USB.

Frequently asked questions

  • What type of thermometer is required?

A probe thermometer is required to measure the core temperature of potentially hazardous food to ensure it is at or below 5°C - or at or above 60°C. An infrared gun thermometer is useful for an indicative reading, but if the temperature is borderline, then revert to the probe thermometer to guarantee accurate readings.

  • What fees do I need to pay for my food business?

To register a food business, there is a once-off registration/notification fee. In addition to this, there is an annual fee. Annual fees must be paid within the specified timeframe. Under Section 112 of the Food Act 2008, the Shire may cancel the registration if the fee is not paid.

  • Why don’t I get a new certificate every year?

Certificates of registration are not reissued every year. They are only reissued if there are changes to your food business.

  • When do I need to tell the Shire if something changes?

Under Section 113 of the Food Act 2008, a food business proprietor must notify the Shire within 7 days if:

  • The food business ceases to be conducted at those premises;
  • The food business is sold;
  • Any change is made to the activities carried out that are likely to affect the risk classification

Contacts

If you have any questions regarding food safety or regulation:

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Postal Address

PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
Monday to Friday
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Ph 08 9780 5255
Fax 08 9757 2512

Augusta

66 Allnut Terrace
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