Food poisoning: more common than you think

13 November 2020

Food poisoning is more common than you think and cost the WA community around $18 million last year with most of it occurring at home.

Play it food safe: clean, separate, cook, chill

While most people believe they handle food safely, a survey conducted in 2019 showed that many people do not know how, especially when handling eggs and chicken.

Food poisoning is a serious illness, particularly for vulnerable members of the community such as the elderly and young children.

The best way to avoid food poisoning is to correctly prepare, cook and store food.

The most common cause of food poisoning is from two types of bacteria, salmonella and campylobacter. 

These bacteria can grow rapidly when food is not prepared, cooked or stored properly.

However, food poisoning is easy to prevent when you follow a few simple food safety tips:

  • Clean hands, utensils and benchtops with hot soapy water during and after use;
  • Separate foods such as raw meat, cooked meat, eggs and fruit and vegetables to prevent cross-contamination in the fridge and when cooking. Use separate utensils and chopping boards;
  • Cook foods especially eggs, chicken and mince, all the way through to kill bacteria; and
  • Chill perishable foods below 5̊C. Foods left out in the danger zone, between 5̊C and 60̊C for more than four hours should be thrown out.

For more food safety tips, visit