YouTube video busts carrots in vomit myth

Thursday, 15 November, 2012

The NSW Food Authority has put to rest the urban myth about carrots in vomit in a new YouTube video about food poisoning. The video, which the Food Authority posted on its Facebook page, is aimed at educating people about how to prepare food safely to prevent food poisoning.

The video launch coincides with Australian Food Safety Week. Dr Lisa Szabo, chief scientist for the NSW Food Authority, said the launch of the video is especially timely as the theme of Food Safety Week is cross-contamination.

“Cross-contamination involves the transfer of harmful bacteria from the surface of foods such as raw meat, seafood and poultry to ready-to-eat foods like salads,” said Szabo. “Cross-contamination usually happens when cutting boards, utensils or hands are not properly washed after handling raw foods.

“The video is a fantastic educational resource. It is simple, engaging and encourages social sharing via social media and word of mouth.”

The NSW Food Authority has measures in place to deal with food poisoning pathogens at critical parts of the food chain. These include primary production measures such as the Egg Regulation Scheme and the Food Safety Supervisor program at the retail end of the chain.

“The focus this week is on the domestic situation - educating people at home how to best minimise the possibility of food poisoning through safe food handling,” Szabo said.

“There is a lot of misinformation and misconceptions about food poisoning, carrots in your vomit being one of them, so if you want to find out more, watch the video!”

During 2011-2012, the NSW Food Authority was notified of 699 complaints alleging single cases of foodborne illness and 475 alleged incidents affecting two or more people. Salmonella poisoning was the issue of most concern and notifications of outbreaks in NSW have been increasing, particularly over the past three years. Over the last three years the Food Authority has investigated 59 confirmed significant Salmonella outbreaks - 22 of those in 2011-2012.

“Initiatives such as Australian Food Safety Week are very important for getting the message out there that you really do need to be aware of the dangers of food poisoning and educate yourself on how best to avoid it,” said Szabo.

To watch the food poisoning video, visit the NSW Food Authority’s Facebook page or YouTube.

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