An egg in an egg cup with a face drawn on the shell

Every day, we think about the food we want to eat. We eat to live, but food is also one of life’s pleasures, until it makes us sick.

Whether it’s fresh food we make at home or shop-bought ready-made, there are high-risk foods that need to be prepared, cooked and stored safely so we don’t get sick.

Keep high-risk foods safe to eat

Food-poisoning bacteria can grow and multiply on some types of food more easily than others.

Diary-based desserts, such as custard tarts and cheesecake, need to be stored in the fridge until ready to eat.

Rice and pasta, often easy-to-prepare mid-week favourites, can contain bacteria that survive the cooking process. Leftovers need to be cooled quickly and stored in the fridge in an airtight container, to be eaten in 3 to 4 days.

Eggs are eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and most of us take it for granted they are safe. But egg shells can be contaminated by Salmonella on the outside when they are laid. If you use eggs in raw or cooked dishes, make sure they are clean, particularly in uncooked dishes, sauces and dressings that contain raw or lightly cooked eggs, and kept in their carton in the fridge.

Seafood, raw or cooked, needs to be eaten straight after preparation and leftovers covered and stored in the fridge, to be eaten the next day.

Raw meat and poultry contain harmful bacteria and need to be handled and cooked correctly to destroy the microorganisims and stop them from spreading to your ready-to-eat foods.

Remember, when in doubt, throw it out. It’s not worth the risk of getting sick.

Preparing food tips

  • Wash your hands and preparation surfaces often
  • Separate different foods to avoid cross-contamination
  • Cook at proper temperatures
  • Refrigerate promptly
  • Shop for food carefully
  • Store food appropriately
  • Thaw frozen food slowly in the fridge.

Find out more about food safety

Storing leftover food
Cooking high-risk food
Eating outdoors
Buying, using and storing eggs
Food business and community groups
Australian Food safety Week

A group of red apples

BHC Team

BHC Team

Just like you, we live all things health. We're lucky enough it's also part of our work. Join us each week as we share ideas and new ways to enjoy even better health.