Page 4199 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 26 November 2013
organisations, but exempt the traditional sausage sizzle. I think we have found the right place. We just have to make some amendments. But it was never our intention to do that.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH: Minister, what consultation did you undertake before implementing these regulations on community group sausage sizzles and other community fundraisers?
MS GALLAGHER: The majority of the consultation around the food safety act occurred with registered food safety businesses and the peak industry groups. There was some discussion with sporting organisations. When the rollout of the legislation happened there were concerns raised with the government around the implementation. The practicality of it, I have to say, was basically getting someone trained in food safety, which I actually think is a good thing when you are cooking and preparing food—undertaking a training course. Since all of this has happened we have had 1,000 people undertake the voluntary training program online, which is free. That is a good outcome, because not too many people know that you should cook a sausage at about 70 degrees and not too many people know that you should not have it sitting in a tray for four hours and then serve it to people.
These are important messages to get out. You can see the potential cost that food poisoning has on the community. You only have to talk to someone who has spent weeks in hospital and probably years on antibiotics because they have been poisoned by food to understand the seriousness of the issue, even if it can be trivialised into words like “the quiche police”, “the barbecue squad” and “the frittata brigade”.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Minister, if you still believe that it is a good thing to have a food safety supervisor for the sausage sizzle, why have you backflipped?
MS GALLAGHER: I have listened to the community, Mr Hanson, which is a job that our politicians are meant to do. I do not eat from sausage sizzles. I do not eat sausages, but I have read the meat standards. So I know what is in them. I do not know how many other people have. If people eat from a sausage sizzle, they do so at their own risk. We have listened to the community. The community do not want people trained in food safety standards when they are tasting a sausage—
Mr Smyth: So how many people were poisoned? What was the evidence for this? How many people were poisoned?
MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Smyth!
MS GALLAGHER: I will not respond to the interjection, but I will say, Madam Speaker, that it is almost impossible to measure. When you look at the economic impact of food poisoning on a community like the ACT some figures put it at between