Leaving food in the boot of your car while you go shopping and reheating leftovers could be some of the reasons why New Zealanders get food poisoning, a Massey University researcher says.
PhD student Sergio Motta is conducting a survey to find out about food safety practices in New Zealand households, a study that has interested the Ministry of Primary Industries.
He plans to compare New Zealanders habits to those of people in Brazil, where he has already completed the survey.
In Brazil, Mr Motto found the handling of leftovers and the transportation of food were two key reasons why people got food poisoning.
‘‘Practices such as leaving food in the boot of the car for a long period while going shopping for other things and cooking large quantities of food, leaving it on the stove or benchtop during the day, then warming up in the microwave later, are critical control points,” he said.
Mr Motta’s supervisor, Associate Professor Steve Flint of the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, said food manufacturers and retailers were often blamed for food poisoning incidents, but what happened in the home could be blamed for some food poisoning cases.
‘‘While our food manufacturers come under scrutiny to ensure their hygiene practices are up to scratch, little attention has been given to the average household and how the role of kitchen design, and practices in the handling and preparing of food,” Prof Flint said.
Mr Motta will send out questionnaire to 3000 randomly selected households and hoped to get at least 2000 responses.
The survey will cover issues of food buying and transportation practices, preparation and cooking, handling of leftovers and what utensils and appliances are used.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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