Always avoid putting thawed meat back into the freezer otherwise you risk taking Billy with it.

Make sure you use different knives and boards when preparing food, keeping raw meat separate from other foods. This stops the spreading of bacteria like Billy.

Your food should be fully thawed before you cook it.

And you should always check your food is cooked all the way through. Or you may just find bacteria hiding in your food.

And always remember, the number one way to keep bacteria at bay is by washing your hands!

This is Bernie. Bacteria like Bernie love leftovers.?He will find his way into your leftover lunch unless you look after it properly.

Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for three to five days. Or you can freeze them straight away.

When freezing your leftovers, make sure they're labelled. That way you'll know what they are, and whether they're still safe to eat.

Food can be frozen for up to three months.

Bernie hates the heat, so when reheating food ­ even big dishes for parties, make sure it's hot all the way through. It should be hotter than 75 degrees celsius.

If you're taking food to a party or gathering, don't invite Bernie - he'll ruin things for everyone! Make sure you transport food safely, keeping your hot and cold dishes separate.

If food is at room temperature for longer than four hours, don't eat it. You can guarantee Bernie will be lurking.

And remember, avoid preparing food if you're not feeling well. If you're sick you might be carrying bacteria or viruses that can make food unsafe.


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Learn how to handle food safely to avoid food poisoning. Watch Brian, Bobby, Billy and Bernie bacteria as they remind us how to keep bacteria at bay.

This is Brian.

Bacteria like Brian love food, but your food doesn't love Brian.

And neither does your health.

When shopping, pick up dry foods and household goods first ­ things like canned fish, rice, lentils and toothpaste.

Brian is not interested in these.

He's not too bothered by fruit and vegetables either, so collect them next.

Brian loves meat, seafood and dairy - but only when they're warm.

He hates the cold and he can't handle the heat, so it's important to choose hot and cold items last.

Otherwise, they may end up at Brian's favourite temperature ­ above 5 degrees celsius.

Make sure you keep your hot and cold foods separate.

Or, as your cold foods warm up and your hot foods cool down, you'll find yourself taking home some unwanted passengers.

This is Bobby. Bacteria like Bobby will find their way onto foods that aren't stored right.

Bobby hates the cold, so keep your fridge below five degrees celsius.

To stop Bobby from spreading himself around, organise your fridge correctly. Always store cooked foods and raw foods separately.

Store raw foods in sealed or covered containers at the bottom of the fridge.

Keep raw foods below cooked foods, to avoid liquid such as meat juices dripping down and bacteria contaminating cooked foods.

Otherwise the bacteria from the raw meat might contaminate your dinner ­ and that increases your chances of food poisoning.

And remember, a crowded fridge prevents cool air circulating. If you store your food properly the bacteria will have nowhere to hide.

This is Billy. Bacteria like Billy love to hang around while you're preparing and cooking food.

To keep him away from your dinner, defrost food safely in the fridge or use the "defrost" setting on the microwave.

Always avoid putting thawed meat back into the freezer otherwise you risk taking Billy with it.

Make sure you use different knives and boards when preparing food, keeping raw meat separate from other foods. This stops the spreading of bacteria like Billy.

Your food should be fully thawed before you cook it.

And you should always check your food is cooked all the way through. Or you may just find bacteria hiding in your food.

And always remember, the number one way to keep bacteria at bay is by washing your hands!

This is Bernie. Bacteria like Bernie love leftovers.?He will find his way into your leftover lunch unless you look after it properly.

Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for three to five days. Or you can freeze them straight away.

When freezing your leftovers, make sure they're labelled. That way you'll know what they are, and whether they're still safe to eat.

Food can be frozen for up to three months.

Bernie hates the heat, so when reheating food ­ even big dishes for parties, make sure it's hot all the way through. It should be hotter than 75 degrees celsius.

If you're taking food to a party or gathering, don't invite Bernie - he'll ruin things for everyone! Make sure you transport food safely, keeping your hot and cold dishes separate.

If food is at room temperature for longer than four hours, don't eat it. You can guarantee Bernie will be lurking.

And remember, avoid preparing food if you're not feeling well. If you're sick you might be carrying bacteria or viruses that can make food unsafe.


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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Department of Health and Human Services

Last updated: March 2016

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