Seafood and chocolate warnings issued ahead of Easter holidays

Mar 31, 2021
Raw seafood, pre-cooked prawns and cold-smoked salmon are not recommended for pregnant women, the elderly or people with reduced immune systems. Source: Getty

With Easter fast approaching and Good Friday’s seafood feasts just two sleeps away, you’ll no doubt be stocking up the fridge. But once you’ve purchased your seafood, how do you ensure you don’t put your family at risk of a nasty bout of food poisoning?

Cathy Moir, Food Safety Information Council (FSIC) chair, said Australia’s imported and locally produced seafood adheres to strict quality controls, but recommended people only buy seafood from a “reputable registered seafood supplier” and warned consumers to check beforehand that it is fresh and chilled.

After the checkout, it falls on consumers do their bit to stay safe. To make sure you don’t ruin the Easter break, Moir suggests using an insulated container with enough cold packs or ice to keep the seafood chilled until it reaches your fridge.

“Easter sees the greatest quantity of seafood sold in Australia, so at this busy time consumers need to remember to transport their seafood home from the retailer in an insulated container with cold packs or ice,” she said. “This will not only keep your seafood fresher, it will prevent the growth of bacteria that can make you sick.”

Once you’re at home, the seafood should be stored in a covered container in a fridge running at 5°C or below. Live shellfish, such as oysters, should be kept on ice and consumed as soon as possible after shucking. Prawns should also be consumed as soon as possible, and other refrigerated seafood eaten within two to three days.

The FSIC says raw seafood poses the highest risk and warns that you should be particularly careful and hygienic when preparing raw or lightly cooked oysters, sushi and sashimi. The council says any fish you want to eat raw should be frozen first to kill any parasites.

Due to a heightened risk of Listeria, raw seafood, pre-cooked prawns and cold-smoked salmon are not recommended for pregnant women, the elderly or people with reduced immune systems.

Seafood and chocolate are two of the weekend’s biggest food groups and while the latter may seem harmless, Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) has also issued a warning for an Aldi Easter chocolate ahead of the holidays.

MILK ALLERGY WARNING

In previous years, a number of our members have been caught out with Aldi’s Dairy FINE Easter…

Posted by Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia on Wednesday, 24 March 2021

 

A common mistake has caught out a number of people in the past, and to prevent a repeat this year, people with dairy allergies are being warned to read ingredients lists carefully.

Maria Said, an A&AA spokeswoman, told Nine News that the words “Dairy Fine” on an Aldi brand chocolate Easter bunny were written in cursive script that made it hard to decipher and easily mistaken for the words “dairy free”.

“People continue to make the same mistake every year,” she said. “The fact that the foil on these products does get scrunched up is also a factor that causes people to read it quickly and make the assumption.”

The labelling used on the supermarket’s Dairy Fine chocolate has been criticised as confusing for years, however, the A&AA have worked with Aldi to come up with a solution to the problem.

Aldi added the words “milk chocolate” below the words Dairy Fine last year, but Said highlighted that the supermarket giant could do more.

An Aldi Australia spokesperson insisted that the labelling on its Dairy Fine chocolates was clear and said that all Aldi labels have clear allergen labelling “which [go] above and beyond current allergen regulations”.

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