With many homes across Queensland affected by floods and power outages in recent days, it’s important to remember that food waste needs to be disposed of safely and correctly in order to prevent cross-contamination of non-spoiled food and storage facilities.
For Brisbane residents, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has announced that there will be 50 food waste bins installed across 36 suburbs. Please note that some of these won’t be in place until 31st January.
Remember, garbage containers are a source of bacteria and may also attract pests. They need to be carefully managed in order to prevent food contamination.
If you don’t live in Brisbane, or can’t get to a food bin, then use the following guidelines to ensure that you dispose of food safely:
- Remove food scraps from the kitchen daily - or more frequently if required.
- Arrange regular garbage collection. Garbage that is not collected for some time after disposal is very attractive to pests
- Do not allow garbage containers to overflow
- Regularly hose down and clean garbage containers
- Always use a bin liner for garbage containers. This is a good way to ensure that the garbage container is kept as clean as possible and that harmful bacteria do not have time to grow on the inside of the unit itself.
- Keep lids tightly closed on garbage containers when in use
- Dispose of dangerous items such as syringes in special containers. Talk to your supervisor or manager if you are unsure of how to dispose of dangerous items
- Do not use garbage containers to transfer food or ice
- In warm climates - refrigerate food scraps to prevent bacteria growing to harmful levels quickly - but don't use a refrigerator with other non-waste food!
- Finally, always wash your hands after handling garbage
And always remember the golden rule about food waste disposal – “If in doubt, throw it out!”