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Centre for Food Safety calls for concerted efforts to enhance food safety

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, echoing the theme of World Health Day today (April 7), reminded the public and the trade of the importance of food safety and called for concerted efforts from all sectors in the community to enhance food safety.

World Health Day, which falls on April 7 every year, is also the birthday of the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO selects a priority area of global public health concern to be the theme of the annual World Health Day and the theme this year is "Food Safety".

A spokesman for the CFS said, "Food safety is a shared responsibility. The CFS has been promoting the importance of a tripartite collaboration among the Government, the food trade and the public. All those involved in the food production chain - from farms and manufacturers to food handlers and consumers - should put in place safety measures to prevent food-borne diseases."

To tie in with this year's World Health Day, the CFS has set up a dedicated webpage (www.cfs.gov.hk/english/whatsnew/whatsnew_fst/whatsnew_fst_World_Health_Day_2015.html) to promote the importance of food safety. Apart from extensive information on food safety, details of activities organised by the CFS, including seminars and talks, can also be found on the webpage.

The spokesman urged the trade and the public to follow the "Five Keys to Food Safety" advocated by the WHO when handling and preparing food, which include:

Choose Wisely
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* Obtain food and food ingredients from approved and reliable sources; and
* Use fresh and wholesome food ingredients and check the quality of the ingredients upon receipt.

Keep Clean
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* Wash hands with soap and water before handling food, after handling raw meat or poultry and after engaging in any activities that may contaminate hands (e.g. going to the toilet; handling rubbish, soiled equipment, utensils or money; and carrying out cleaning duties).

Separate Raw and Cooked Food
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* Use two separate refrigerators for storing raw food and cooked or ready-to-eat food as far as practicable;
* If raw food and cooked or ready-to-eat food have to be stored in the same refrigerator, store food in containers with lids to avoid contact between raw food and ready-to-eat or cooked food. Raw food should be stored below ready-to-eat or cooked food in the refrigerator to prevent juices of raw food from dripping onto ready-to-eat or cooked food; and
* Use separate utensils to handle raw food and cooked or ready-to-eat food.

Cook Thoroughly
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* If possible, use a food thermometer to check whether the core temperature of food reaches at least 75 degrees Celsius.

Safe Temperature
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* Keep cold food at or below four degrees Celsius and hot food above 60 degrees Celsius; and
* Never leave cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours.

Ends/Tuesday, April 7, 2015

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Last revision date: 07-04-2015