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Food safety advice for volunteers and community organisations

When preparing food you should:

  • keep yourself clean and wear clean clothes and an apron/over-clothing
  • tie long hair back
  • always wash your hands thoroughly
    • before handling food
    • after using the toilet
    • after handling raw foods or rubbish
    • after taking a break
    • after blowing your nose.
  • cover cuts and sores with a waterproof, high visibility blue plaster
  • limit how much you touch food with your hands - use tongs or utensils wherever possible
  • cover food, this is especially important if preparing or serving food outside
  • not smoke, eat, or drink in an area where food is being prepared or served.
  • never cough or sneeze over food
  • not prepare food too early.
  • avoid laying out food at room temperature too far in advance
  • cool foods that need to be chilled as quickly as possible, ideally within 90 minutes of serving
  • make sure you have enough clean container to transport food and do the journey quickly. Keep the food at safe temperatures. Use cool boxes or insulated bags and freezer blocks to help keep food cold.


Don’t prepare or serve food if you have:

  • any skin, nose or throat conditions
  • an upset stomach
  • diarrhoea
  • an infected wound.

We have collated some extra advice on barbecues if you are hosting a barbecue or there is a barbecue at your event.

We have pulled together some tips and information if you are hosting a community barbeque  [pdf document].

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