The following is a media release from the Food Safety Information Council and is included here with permission.
The Food Safety Information Council today released research that shows more Australians are more worried about the safety of seafood (96%) than chicken meat (95%), minced meat (90%) raw eggs (83%), pasteurised milk (71%), cooked rice (58%) and bean sprouts (47%).
Food Safety Information Council Chair, Rachelle Williams, said that seafood sold in Australia is less likely to give you food poisoning compared with high risk foods such as raw eggs, bean sprouts and poorly handled poultry or minced meat.
‘Australia has a well-deserved reputation for high quality and safe seafood. Commercially produced seafood in Australia and imported seafood must adhere to strict quality controls but we also need to keep it safe and good quality after purchase,’ Ms Williams said.
‘Easter sees the greatest quantity of seafood sold in Australia so, at this busy time, consumers need to remember to transport their seafood home from the retailer in a cooler with ice block or ice. This will not only keep your seafood fresher, it will prevent the growth of bacteria that can make you sick.’
The Council has issued 6 tips to reduce your risk of food poisoning from seafood you purchase to help keep it safe this Easter:
1. Only purchase your seafood from a registered seafood supplier and check it is visibly fresh and is displayed chilled
2. Transport your seafood home from the retailer in a cooler with enough ice blocks or ice to keep it chilled
3. Once home put seafood in the fridge in a covered container and make sure your fridge is running at 5°C or below. Live shellfish, such as oysters, should be kept on ice and consumed as soon as possible after shucking.
4. If the seafood is going to be cooked this will kill most bacteria but there could be a slight risk if it is consumed raw, for example raw oysters, sushi, sashimi. You will need to be particularly careful and hygienic in preparing these raw foods and also handling pre-cooked seafood such as cooked prawns.
5. Seafood eaten raw or cold cooked prawns are not recommended for pregnant women, people with reduced immune systems or the elderly because of the risk of Listeria.
6. Consume prawns and live shellfish as soon as possible after purchase when they are at their best and use other refrigerated seafood within 2 to 3 days.