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Kate Wilkinson

5 December, 2012

Minister urges food safety success to continue

Fewer New Zealanders are getting food poisoning but we must not forget basic food safety rules during the summer barbecue season, Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson says.          

“We all love a summer barbecue, but over the festive season, it’s a good time to remember to do the food safety basics.

“Don’t cross contaminate surfaces, properly cook chicken, and make sure the whole family washes their hands before eating,” Ms Wilkinson says.

Back in 2007 there were approximately 160 cases of food-related campylobacter per 100,000 people. This year, that figure is expected to have halved, to approximately 80 cases per 100,000 people.

In 2007 there were also approximately 14 cases of salmonella per 100,000 people compared to 11 cases per 100,000 people this year.

This means that around 3300 fewer New Zealanders got sick from Campylobacter this year than five years ago, with more than 100 Kiwis escaping illness from Salmonella.

According to the Ministry for Primary Industries, this reduction in food poisoning has produced savings of around $40 million a year.

“This is good news for New Zealanders, good news for our food industry, and translates to significant savings for the economy.”