Reasons why businesses are investing in food safety and quality.
Oct12

Reasons why businesses are investing in food safety and quality.

The Australian Food and Safety information council is warning Australians about the risks with contracting food poisoning. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that Australians were becoming more vulnerable to food poisoning, which is leading to unpleasant feelings with people’s health. Or worse, it is life threatening. With more than 5.4 million people affected in the last year, the Australian government is urging businesses to do more to combat the rise in dangerous bacteria that is leading to more reported cases of food poisoning. One of the themes in the Australian Food Safety Week which is due to commence in November, is ‘How you cook can make you crook!’. People can often be unaware of how their cooking methods may be unhygienic and lead to health problems for them and for others that they are serving. The aim is to improve the awareness of food safety for businesses. The Australian Food Safety Information Council recommends that you retain control of: How you clean the food. How you cook the food. How you chill the food. How you separate the food. What are some tips to better manage food safety and quality. If a person is sick, do not have them prepare, cook or serve food. If a person is ill, it is best for them to be removed from the environment where food is stored and prepared. Sick workers can spread their virus or disease to the people that are consuming the food. There are foodborne pathogens such as Norovirus, Hepatitis A and Shigella, which are often spread by restaurant workers to the restaurant’s customers through their foods. image via foodsafety.gov There was a case in the US where a restaurant worker was ill with Hepatitis A and exposed up to ten thousand restaurant patrons to the disease. Those that were not immediately vaccinated contracted the virus. Actions that business need to take when it comes to food safety when employees are sick is that the employee must be told to stay home and return only when they are fully recovered. While it may seem that the operations of your business are strained with a reduced labour force, it is a temporary setback compared to your restaurant being responsible for hundreds or thousands of cases of food poisoning that could lead to reputation damage, a reduction in new and return customers and potential legal action. Ensure that you store and chill food items properly. Any perishable items should be kept inside the fridge at 5 degrees Celsius or below. Perishable items oxidise when exposed to air and heat. To maintain freshness, invest in a vacuum sealer that...

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Magnesium, the mighty mineral
Oct05

Magnesium, the mighty mineral

In today’s day and age, it’s never been more important to take care of our health. We all know the health benefits of taking vitamin C and of taking vitamin D, and we know how beneficial it is for us to eat a healthy diet and to ensure that we get enough water, but what about the other, lesser known minerals that are still vital to our health? Do you know about the vast array of vitamins and minerals that you need to take in every day in order to keep your body functioning at an optimal level? There are a huge number of minerals and vitamins that are present in food, and unless you’re aware of them and working to consume the right amounts, you may miss out on something vital and potentially develop a deficit somewhere down the line. Magnesium is one of these vital minerals and while you mightn’t have jumped to the importance of it, it’s responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in your body ­– although, worryingly, over 55% of Americans don’t get enough magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that affects your nerves, the rhythm of your heart, your blood glucose, your immune system and your bone strength. You might think that you’re doing enough to take care of your bone health by taking natural osteoporosis supplements, but there are other things that you can do in order to ensure that you’re looking after your body. High up on the scale of looking after yourself is ensuring that you’re getting enough magnesium, because it can have a huge impact on your body if you don’t get enough. What’s the deal with magnesium? You would usually be able to get your recommended daily dose of magnesium from a varied diet that included a range of leafy greens, nuts, grains and seeds. Sadly, modern farming techniques have stripped the amount of magnesium that we’re getting from our food; where once before we got enough magnesium from our food, now modern food has fifty per cent less magnesium than before. In addition to this, many foods that we eat are made with refined flours instead of whole wheats, and so many of the natural nutrients (like magnesium) are now removed from our diets. Food manufacturers compensate for this by ‘enriching’ our food with things like iron and B4 vitamins, but this doesn’t replace the magnesium in our lives. How can we get enough magnesium? When you’re planning your diet, it can be helpful for you to ensure that you’re focusing on eating organic foods that are rich in natural minerals and vitamins. Eating over-processed food and non-organic...

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Familiarizing yourself with the definition of a time-out
Sep29

Familiarizing yourself with the definition of a time-out

With today’s busy lifestyles of working hard, and playing hard, it is sometimes hard to remember to take time for yourself and relax. I know with the rise in social media I always have the fear of missing out (FOMO), therefore I try to cram in as much as I possibly can into my week, whether that be socialising with friends mid-week or heading out on the weekends. That said, there is nothing more luxurious than having a weekend to focus on me, myself and I. The free weekend might come around once in a blue moon, but when it does, there is nothing better. Having a free Friday night to come home to an empty house and enjoy a long hot bubble bath whilst reading that book that’s been with you since the end of time, it can give you nothing but great pleasure to just chill and enjoy some quiet time, engulfed in bubbles and candle light. Being weightless really invigorates you, I always feel a million dollars getting out of a long bubble bath, and knowing I have fresh clean sheets to jump into.   image courtesy https://www.facebook.com/ozmattress.com.au As I’ve moved houses a few times, last year I went to a mattress sale in melbourne and treated myself to a new mattress, and oh my god – was it the best purchase of my life thus far. I hadn’t realised how bad my previous mattresses had been until I got my new mattress. It is literally like sleeping on clouds of heaven. There is nothing like not setting your alarm on the weekend, and having a big old lie in; waking up to the light filling your room, flipping over your pillow to the cold side and slipping back into a deep sleep. It really is a favourite pastime of mine, knowing that today I don’t have to do anything or be anywhere until I am ready. image courtesy https://www.facebook.com/ozmattress.com.au Speaking of mattresses, having a good mattress really does help my back. As someone whose job generally involves being hunched over a laptop, you really notice your posture after a hard slog at the office. Teaming a good mattress with treating yourself to a massage on your down time is just wonderful. I never really realised the stress and tension my body holds until I walk out of a massage salon feeling 100% lighter. Massages really should be mandatory, as they can really reset all your buttons in just a one hour time slot.   image courtesy https://www.facebook.com/ozmattress.com.au Of recent months I’ve been trying to get out of the city on at least one weekend a...

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Simple ways to get brighter, supple, younger looking skin for men and women.
Sep28

Simple ways to get brighter, supple, younger looking skin for men and women.

Are you someone who dreams that they can have radiant, glowing skin? It seems like it is only the celebrities and models that can get flawless looking skin. Don’t feel down because there is hope for anyone. It doesn’t matter what your complexion is or whether you are a man or a woman, if you have been suffering from skin conditions, this is the must read for you! What’s the dilemma? There are so many reasons and symptoms as to why people suffer from skin problems. As the skin is the first thing people see and allows us to make our initial impression, it can be soul destroying when skin issues hamper our confidence and force us to believe that our true beauty is indeed skin deep. Some of the common problems people face includes: Acne Oily skin Dry skin Large pores Eczema Crows feet Wrinkles Freckles Dark circles Skin redness Rashes These are a few of the culprits that negatively impact our skin’s appearance. By using the following methods, you will boost your confidence and shine bright like a diamond through your skin as well as through your character. image courtesy www.nutritionsecrets.com                 Look beautiful, striking, hot and pretty by having good skin. Ways to get beautiful, glowing and flawless skin. We will cover a few methods to enhance your skin’s beauty. We are confident that if you follow the advice provided, your skin will radiate with a beauty and glow similar to that of the celebrities. Nutrition – you are what you eat! If you want to really enhance your skin, then you need to manage what you are consuming. If you are consuming trashy food, it will negatively impact your skin. Eating the wrong type of food has been known to cause breakouts in pimples, speed up wrinkles, aging and oily skin. If you aren’t managing each bite or drink that you are consuming, you may be hurting your skin complexion. image courtesy www.nutritionsecrets.com Things you should consider when consuming food and drinks. Consume foods that contain healthy fats such as omega-3. This will help to keep the skin elastic and to boost the skin cells. Consume food and drinks that have anti-oxidants to help your skin block out the chemical reactions that lead to skin damage. Prioritise eating fresh fruits and vegetables and allow the antioxidants from these foods neutralise free radicals and slow down the signs of aging such as wrinkles and crow’s feet. Prioritise eating collagen-building protein to help with the development of skin cells. Avoid consuming refined sugars and starchy carbs such as white bread and pasta. Instead, replace these with...

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7 European Places You Must Visit This Fall
Sep25

7 European Places You Must Visit This Fall

The arrival of fall is marking the nature lively palette of warm yellow, orange and red hues that further embellish the sight of certain towns . If you are planning a short trip this fall certainly visit some of these breathtaking places. Some people have flexible enough jobs and lifestyles to cherry-pick when to take their vacations, but many others have less choice. Fortunately, Europe welcomes visitors 365 days a year — and each season offers a different ambiance and experience.   Cumbria, England Image via tocka.com Bruges, Belgium Image via tocka.com Oslo, Norway Image via tocka.com Prague, Czech Republic Image via tocka.com Budapest, Hungary Image via tocka.com Piedmont, Italy Image via tocka.com Bled, Slovenia Image via tocka.com...

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Holiday Accommodation: Exploring My Options
Sep23

Holiday Accommodation: Exploring My Options

A trip to Australia is very exciting. There are so many things to do in Australia, it is certainly wise to create a list of the places you’d like to see and the activities that tickle your fancy! When you are planning a holiday, one of the first items on the agenda is accommodation.  There are a few different types of places to stay depending on the individual’s budget. Hostels When traveling to Australia, there are so many things to do. When a person is planning a vacation on a budget, they do not want to blow their whole budget on accommodation. They would rather spend the money on activities. When a person is traveling on a budget, a hostel is a great place to stay. They are also known as backpack hostels. A hostel often consists of a bed, typically a bunk bed, in a dormitory. Hostels have shared bathrooms, lounges, and some hostels have a shared kitchen. When it comes to the rooming situation, travelers can find a hostel with single sex, mixed sex, or private rooms. The hostel that they choose depends on their specific rooming needs. Typically, the staff at a hostel lives on the premises. Many of the employees at hostels live there for free in exchange for doing work at the front desk or for housekeeping. image courtesy http://www.hotelmanagement.com.au/ Serviced Apartments Serviced apartments in Melbourne are fully furnished apartments available for travelers. They often include soft furnishings and cooking utensils so that guests do not need to worry about packing these things themselves. Serviced apartments in Melbourne are great for people who are planning a long stay, as they are much cheaper than most hotels. Families traveling together can also benefit from staying in serviced apartments. There is more privacy in this type of lodging and guests have a kitchen to cook meals in. This can save a great deal of money because they do not need to eat out everyday like they would in a hotel. Serviced apartments in Melbourne offer many of the amenities that hotels offer, such as housekeeping, front office, and parking. image courtesy http://www.exploreaustralia.net.au/ Hotel A hotel is a great place to stay on a trip if the traveler has the money to spend. If they are only planning a short visit, a hotel is feasible on a moderate budget. If they are planning a long trip, a hotel stay can become very expensive. When planning a trip which includes a stay in a hotel, travelers should consider the cost of meals in either the hotel restaurant or nearby restaurants. This can become quite pricey, making a hotel an expensive option. image...

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Top Tips For Reducing Energy Consumption
Sep22

Top Tips For Reducing Energy Consumption

Cold weather reminds everyone that energy consumption is about to go up. Stay warm, comfortable and be able to enjoy a reduction in your electricity bills by taking a few precautions before the season arrives. Once this goal is met, an incentive for reducing your total energy output year round will seem much easier. Keep Records Write down the energy consumption for the past year, by month. This will provide a comparison to your present usage. List the KWH (Kilowatt hours) in addition to the actual monthly cost. Seeing a difference in savings will trigger old habits to change. A Large Energy Guzzler Families tend to use clothes dryers more frequently during the winter months. Clothes get wet from rain and snow and a quick throw in the dryer seems the best method for bringing them back to a dry state. However, the clothes dryer is one of the main appliances that has not been addressed sufficiently for energy efficiency and can shoot up your electric or gas bill. Find an area in your home where clothes can be hung to air dry or close to energy efficient heaters. Also, pay attention to the amount of clothes packed in the dryer. More clothes mean longer drying time. Furnace Maintenance It can be easy to forget about a heating system until it is time to use it. Chances are, this piece of equipment  has been sitting and collecting dust for the past 4 to 5 months and is in need of a good cleaning. Turning on a furnace that has to fight to run, takes more energy and will continue to struggle throughout the heating season. Also, keep a supply of air filters on hand to change monthly. When filters are close by, there is no reason for procrastination. Spot Heating Most homes have an area that never seems to be as warm as the rest of the house. This could be due to the ducts being far away from the furnace, facing the west or north, or poor insulation. Portable energy efficient heaters can solve this problem nicely, but only if they do not use a large amount of electricity. Space heaters have changed dramatically over the past decade. New designs and features, such as timers and thermostats, help to control the amount of energy and time used. Check the manufacturer’s specs for energy ratings before purchasing. Window Film Window film not only keeps the sun’s glare from invading your living space but is also is energy efficient by using a heat transfer method. No one will be running to the thermostat to control the temperature during different times of...

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5 Perfect Additions To Your Alfresco Area
Sep22

5 Perfect Additions To Your Alfresco Area

An alfresco area has the ability to bring comfort and beauty to any home. It serves to be much more than just a patio with a grill.  When designed properly, there are five major components to make an outdoor dining area absolutely perfect. The focal point of the alfresco area will be the patio furniture, it is the congregation point.  The most important part of choosing materials is deciding which ones suit the needs best.  Aluminum is a very light weight material, that resists corrosion, and an aluminum patio set is easy to clean, making it a low maintenance cost option.  The down side of aluminum is that it isn’t very strong, and won’t stand up to heavy usage. Steel is heavier than aluminum and much stronger so if it is maintained well, it can last a very long time.  Because steel will rust, it becomes very important to purchase stainless or galvanized steel. If you choose a painted steel, it is imperative to keep up with repainting to make sure the set doesn’t rust away.  Cast iron patio furniture is the heaviest and most durable of the three types of metal furniture but falls into the same rust issues as steel with regards to maintenance.  Wood and plastic furniture are also available, but for longevity over maintenance purposes, metal is the way to go. The next major addition will be the barbecue.  There are many different types and styles, ranging from small charcoal grills to full built-in outdoor kitchens.  The type, style and fuel choice become more of a preferential decision, but there are so many choices that there is guaranteed to be something to match the furniture styles; the only restriction becomes space available and price. One addition that will make your alfresco area absolutely perfect, and will extend the outdoor season, are gas or electric outdoor patio heaters.  Unobtrusive and for the most part unnoticed, these heaters will keep you warm on cool nights, and depending on how cold the winter is, the use of outdoor patio heaters can even extend the outdoor season all year long.  Because of their low energy consumption, they won’t hike up your electricity bills.  If the lines are already in place for a natural gas grill, it is an easy addition to blend in outdoor patio heaters to the infrastructure already in place. Lighting is a major addition to an alfresco area.  Just like grill styles, there are many different types of lighting depending on the needs of the area.  Building mounted, ground mounted, pole mounted, ambient or overhead lighting will each bring a different type of illumination, so again it is important...

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Is your Backyard High-Maintenance?
Sep21

Is your Backyard High-Maintenance?

Our backyard is the place that we can go to hang out – a sanctuary away from the constraints of indoors and the place where we grow plants and enjoy nature. The backyard is a beautiful spot for any family or group of friends in a sharehouse to go and barbecue, play, sunbathe and relax, and where we’re safe. The only problem here is if your backyard has fallen into disrepair, and if you cannot be bothered to start the often-arduous and difficult task of cleaning up the backyard. If your lawn has grown long and scraggly, and if your plants and vines are threatening to overtake your entire house, then you might say that your backyard is a little too high-maintenance. If this is the case, you’ll find that instead of being a sanctuary to relax in, your backyard is a source of stress and displeasure, and is a place to avoid at all costs – lest you be reminded of the huge amount of work that needs to be done in order to make it livable. The good news is that there are some things you can do to ensure that your backyard is a low-maintenance joy and pleasure, and by following these handy tips, you’re going to ensure that your backyard is a hot-spot no matter what. Image Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/BonitaStonePavingProducts/ Step One: Ditch the dirt and go for pavers Something a friend of mine did recently was dig up the ratty old bit of grass that he had adorning his backyard. It had been bugging him for months (if not years) and he put down some stunning pavers – I think he got them from Bonita Stone. Once he had done that, he had a new lease on his outdoor area – he was out there all the time barbecuing and enjoying the space, whereas before he was just frustrated about the fact that it was dusty and dirty out there. If you’re a low-maintenance kind of person, you’re going to love the flexibility and ease that comes with having pavers. It also makes for a cleaner look to the backyard if your space is just a bit too small to mow often. Image Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/BonitaStonePavingProducts/ Step Two: Think about your plants Got some creepers crawling up your walls and sick to death of them? You have a choice here – either learn to love the ragged jungle look or chop the greenery away and replace them with some plants that are easier to contain. There’s probably nothing I hate more than going out and doing what I consider to be a lot of gardening work,...

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The knockdown/rebuild Project Guide
Sep17

The knockdown/rebuild Project Guide

To quote a famous Australian film, “A man’s (or woman’s) home is his (or her) castle,” and while Darryl Kerrigan from The Castle was definitely house proud, he was also always trying to extend his property and to build up on his home with various extensions and add-ons. He also struggled with the fact that it was impossible to shoehorn all of the different things into the place that he wanted to. Suffice to say, Mr Kerrigan might have been better off with a complete rebuild as opposed to various renovations. It might have turned out cheaper as well. The very phrase ‘knock down’ fills some people with abundant fear as they imagine the process of getting all the works underway – never mind the question of where do you live in the meantime while the work is being completed. To address these concerns, we’ve created a list of some of the most important things to consider in this handy guide so that you can understand the knockdown rebuild process in its entirety. Image Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/boutiquehomesvic/ Step One – Know your budget When you’re considering a complete knockdown and rebuild of your home, it’s important to know what you’re doing this for and what you hope to achieve. If you’re hoping to achieve a good return on your investment (ROI) then the budget may be more restrained than if you’re building the ultimate family home. Once you’ve established the what and why, you need to consider how long you want to hang onto your property – as the more you invest, the longer you’ll want to hold onto it for a better ROI. Step Two – Figure out the planning controls You need to figure out the planning controls on your property – as in how the property is zoned and whether there are any overlays on the property. Every property is zoned in some way – as in commercial, residential, business zones – but not every house has an overlay. A type of overlay that you’re probably familiar with is the heritage overlay. This can cover buildings, land, gardens and even trees – basically anything that is considered to have heritage importance. As a result of this, it’s vital to know the what’s what about the zoning, before you even so much as pick up the phone to call the builders. Image Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/boutiquehomesvic/ Step Three – Designing your home You have a couple of different stages here Sketch designing your home – This is the process of determining how the home can be built (is it a north-south block, are there any landmarks blocking light etc) Designing...

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