Don’t leave that leftover takeaway on the benchtop overnight – food safety tips for young people leaving home (17 February 2017)

Media release:17 February 2017

As the academic year begins, the Food Safety Information Council together with their member Cater Care have launched a food safety tips poster for young people leaving home to start university and college.

Council Chair, Rachelle Williams, said that young people are at a greater risk of getting food poisoning as there is a peak of food poisoning cases in Australians aged between the late teens and 30 years old.

‘While the highest recorded rates of campylobacter and salmonella cases are among pre-schoolers there is also a peak for those aged between 18 and 30 years old which is the age group when many young people leave home for the first time. Our consumer research shows young people are likely to have poorer knowledge of food safety basics such as washing hands, correct cooking temperatures, riskier foods and fridge safety.

‘Students also tend to live in shared accommodation where the hygiene of the communal kitchen and fridge is easily neglected. There are an estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning on Australia each year and a case of gastro can seriously ruin the fun of those first few months away from home.

‘By following these five simple tips, you can help ensure that you, and people you cook for, are safe from food poisoning:

  1. CLEAN – wash hands with soap and running water before handling food, wash the dishes regularly and keep the kitchen clean
  2. CHILL – keep the fridge at 5°C or below and clean it out regularly, refrigerate any leftovers as soon as they’ve stopped steaming and use or freeze them within 3 days
  3. COOK – cook poultry or minced products to 75°C in the centre, be aware of the risk of raw or minimally cooked egg dishes.
  4. SEPARATE – prevent cross contamination especially between raw meat or poultry and other foods that won’t be cooked like salads
  5. DON’T COOK FOR OTHERS IF YOU HAVE GASTRO – you could make them sick too so ask someone else to cook or get a takeaway.

‘The Food Safety Information Council would like to thanks our member Cater Care for developing this poster which can be downloaded from here, or through the QR code below’ Ms Williams concluded.

Media contact:

Lydia Buchtmann, Food Safety Information Council, 0407 626 688 or

Cater Care are an award winning provider of food services to residential schools and colleges, tuckshops, TAFE providers, halls of residence, university refectories and more see