Skip to content





Safer food, better health is the focus of World Food Safety Day<span><p><br>‘According to the World Health Organisation, foodborne diseases affect one in 10 people worldwide each year. There are over 200 of these diseases and while some are mild, others are deadly.</p><p>‘This year’s theme, Safer food, better health, highlights the role that safe, nutritional food plays in ensuring human health. Food safety forms part of the responsibilities of the City Health Department and the service provided by Environmental Health Practitioners is centred on the basic need of communities to access safe food,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.</p><p>Consumers are protected during the production, handling, processing, storage and distribution of food through enforcement of the various pieces of food related legislation in South Africa. </p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:852px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>As part of its continuing educational activities, the City seeks to provide clarity around the use of dates on food packaging so that consumers can make informed food choices for better health.</p><p>In terms of South African labelling regulations, there is no legal term such as “expired food”. </p><p>Food has <strong>best before, sell by or use by dates</strong>. These dates are not a clear-cut indication of food safety, but rather an indication of quality in terms of nutritional value, taste, texture and colour.</p><p>The best before (BB date) talks about the product quality. After this date, the quality of the product cannot be guaranteed and is generally applied to products that can be safely stored at room temperature in a sealed container such as canned beans, flour, rice, and other shelf stable foods.  </p><p>This does not mean that once the <strong>best before </strong>date has been reached the product is unsafe to consume rather that it might be past its best.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:810px;" /> </figure></span><p>The <strong>use by </strong>dates may be found on perishable foodstuffs that are quick to spoil like meat, milk, and fish products.</p><p>This date is most important to remember as it is linked to food safety in perishable products as the risk of spoilage increases past the <strong>use by </strong>date. </p><p>These types of food have the potential to lead to increasing risk of illness if consumed past the <strong>use by </strong>date, especially if stored incorrectly for either too long, or at incorrect temperatures. </p><p>During load-shedding episodes, consumers should try and avoid the repeated opening and closing of refrigerator doors so as to maintain the internal temperatures for as long as possible.</p><p><strong>Sell by</strong> is a store guideline to ensure that foods still have a reasonable shelf life after sale.</p><p>City Health will be including training around understanding labelling requirements in its food safety training programme provided free of charge to staff involved in food preparation at various  institutions, such as Old Age Homes, schools, and ECD centres.   </p><p>One of these training sessions will take place tomorrow when 70 food handlers from feeding schemes, early childhood development centres and schools will be taken through the keys for safer food.</p><p>‘Consumers are encouraged to read food labels so they can make informed choices that link to their health goals. Food safety is everyone’s responsibility as it has the potential to impact us all. Healthier communities mean a healthier city,’ said Councillor van der Ross.</p><p>Do not consume foodstuffs from canned or hermetically sealed (airtight) containers  which are  rusted or damaged in a way that the seals of the containers may be affected. Food from tins that appear blown should not be consumed under any circumstances.</p><p>Always store foodstuffs at the correct temperature and under specified storage conditions in dustproof and liquid proof containers to prevent contamination. </p><p><strong>Hygiene rules for safe food preparation</strong>:</p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Wash your hands with soap before handling food and often during food preparation as well as after using the toilet</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Wash and sanitise all surfaces and equipment used for food preparation • Protect kitchen areas and food from insects, pests and other animals</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Store raw meat, poultry and seafood separately from other foods </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Use separate equipment and utensils such as knives and cutting boards for handling raw foods</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Store food in containers to avoid contact between raw and prepared foods to  prevent contamination</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Cook food thoroughly, especially meat, poultry, eggs and seafood. Bring foods like soups and stews to boiling to make sure that they have reached 70°C</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">When cooking meat and poultry, make sure that juices run clear, not pink</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Reheat cooked food to more than 60°C (piping hot) before serving</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Avoid overcooking when frying, grilling or baking food as this may produce toxic chemicals</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours, and ensure that cooked food is covered to avoid contamination</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Make sure that your fridge is operating at below 5°C and don’t overfill it</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Do not thaw frozen food at room temperature, let it thaw in the fridge in a container</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Wash fruits and vegetables, especially if eaten raw</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Use your senses, sight, smell, touch, and when in doubt rather throw it out</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">If storing kitchen waste in bins, make sure that the bin seals properly and empty it often to avoid flies from breeding</div></li></ul><p><br><strong>End</strong><br></p><span>​​</span><span>​​</span>2022-06-05T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#ec81fd59-b032-41bb-9d67-e360f7fd0f09;L0|#0ec81fd59-b032-41bb-9d67-e360f7fd0f09|food safety;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#42a5cfbc-fbfc-4ba8-9ff9-65b6e2a2d27d;L0|#042a5cfbc-fbfc-4ba8-9ff9-65b6e2a2d27d|Hygiene10


You have disabled JavaScript on your browser.
Please enable it in order to use City online applications.