Food associated illness can be prevented
Good food handling and hygiene principles remain the key to prevention.
The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) has run two key campaigns recently – promoting the four ‘Cs’ (clean,
cook, cover and chill) and the 20+20 rule (wash hands for 20 seconds and dry for 20 seconds).1
The four ‘Cs’ of food safety.1
Clean: food preparation areas, utensils, equipment and yourself.
Cook: raw foods well and leftovers until steaming hot. Ensure minced meat, chicken and sausages are
Cover: all foods in the fridge, cupboard and outdoors. Separate and store raw and cooked foods so
there is no chance of cross-contamination.
Chill: store ready-to-eat foods between 0–4ºC. Any leftover cooked food should be covered and
chilled (within two hours).
Patient information is available from:
The NZFSA has also produced a guide providing up-to-date advice on food safety for Marae – Te Kai Manawa Ora.
Sharing kai is a core element of Māori culture, and the marae is often the centre of this experience. The guide aims
to help maintain the mana and dignity of marae cooks by providing them with hints and tips for keeping food safe.
The guide is available from:
Resources about safe food handling and regulations for food handlers can also be found on the NZFSA website. If food
handlers have symptoms of infectious gastroenteritis, they should be excluded from work until they have been asymptomatic
for at least 48 hours, to prevent transmission of infection.