Council has a responsibility to prevent and investigate outbreaks of diseases. This is achieved through immunisation programs, monitoring of public pools and wastewater, as well as investigating food poisoning incidents and communicable disease outbreaks.
Council’s Environmental Health Officers are responsible for regularly inspecting all types of food businesses to ensure that they are structurally sound, to ensure that they comply with the Food Act 1984 and to provide advice and information to business owners and the wider community.
Environmental Health Officers also respond to consumer complaints about suspected food poisoning, poor food handling, dirty or unhygienic food premises and food found to contain foreign objects, such as glass or string etc.
If you have eaten food from a food premises within the Moorabool Shire Council and believe you have or have had food poisoning, you should contact Council’s Environmental Health Unit as soon as possible on 5366 7100.
Food poisoning can occur up to 72 hours from when you ate or drank contaminated food or before you experience any symptom. This means that the last meal you ate may not necessarily be meal responsible for any symptoms.
Food does not need to be spoiled - it can look, smell and taste fine but can still cause food poisoning.
Food poisoning investigations can be difficult to conduct. In many cases the food poisoning has been reported too late and the suspect food has been completely consumed or discarded. However, it is still important to report your illness so that an investigation can be conducted.
Did you know food poisoning often occurs in the home?
Some ways of preventing food poisoning include:
- Good personal hygiene, such as thoroughly washing and drying hands when handling food.
- Avoid cross-contamination such as keeping raw foods and ready-to-eat foods separate, and using separate, clean utensils, containers and equipment.
- Cook foods thoroughly, make sure foods such as meats and poultry are cooked until their core temperature reaches 75°C. Generally, the meat juices will run clear when cooked.
- Avoid the Temperature Danger Zone - keep chilled foods cold at 5°C or colder, and hot food hot at 60°C or hotter.
- Avoid spoiled foods, foods past their use-by dates, or food in damaged containers or packaging.
- When in doubt, throw it out.
The department of health and human services have useful information on personal hygiene that you may find useful.
Secondary School Immunisations
Council co-ordinates the Secondary School Immunisation Program. Council conducts three immunisation sessions at all secondary schools in Moorabool each year.
An information package with letters and immunisation consent cards is distributed to parent via the schools newsletter or separate mail out. Students must have returned a correctly completed consent card in order to be vaccinated at school. For statistical purposes, all cards must be filled in completely and returned to the school even if the student is not receiving the vaccine.
The recommended vaccines for high school students are as follows:
Year 7 Secondary School Students
Gardasil - Human Papillomavirus (two-dose course)
Boostrix vaccination - Booster offering protection against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough
Year 10 Secondary School Students
Should you have any concerns or wish to discuss any of the above changes, please contact Council’s Environmental Health Unit. Council holds all records of immunisation that we have conducted. If you require a copy of your history please contact Council's Environmental Health Dept.
For more information on Schedule's and vaccine eligibilty please refer to the Department of Health and Human Services (link is external).
For more information on school immunisations please refer to Department of Health and Human Services(link is external).
Infant immunisations (6 weeks to 6 years) are provided free of charge by local medical practitioners.
Parents and care givers can make an appointment at a time that is more suitable and convenient to them when their infant’s vaccination is due.
Council’s Maternal and Child Health (M&CH) Service plays a very important role in educating and promoting the importance of immunisation, particularly as a first point of contact with parents, checking schedules and ensuring the child’s immunisations are up to date.
Council’s Environmental Health Unit educate, support and promote the importance of immunisation as a preventative disease measure amongst local health professionals (medical practitioners and nurses) to ensure the early childhood vaccination rates remain accessible and above the State average.
Should you have any concerns or wish to discuss any of the above changes, please contact Council’s Environmental Health Unit
Public Swimming Pools and Spas
Public swimming pools and spas within the Moorabool Shire Council are tested regularly to ensure that they meet the requirements of the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009.
Information about maintaining a pool can be found in the Pool Operators Handbook from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Contact us for more information on any environmental health issues.
If you or someone you know is suspected of having a notifiable disease, you should immediately go to your GP or hospital to be properly diagnosed and treated. If the disease is confirmed, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services will be notified and Council will be tasked with tracking the disease. This may involve an interview to determine the source of the disease or an investigation to locate the place of infection.
All information gathered during an investigation is extremely sensitive and treated as highly confidential.
Council’s Environmental Health Officers conduct tobacco test purchasing of tobacco retailers throughout Moorabool Shire, to ensure retailers are not selling cigarettes to persons under the age of 18 years. Selling tobacco products to any person under 18 is illegal. An individual/company may receive an official warning, an infringement notice or face legal proceeding in the Magistrates’ Court for selling to any person under 18 years of age.
All complaints in relation to tobacco retailers selling tobacco products to persons under the age of 18 years should be reported to the Environmental Health Unit on (03) 5366 7100.
Click the following link to access the Tobacco Retailer’s Guide
Tobacco Bans on Outdoor Areas and Dining
Smoking is banned in areas commonly used by children and young people for recreational and sporting activities. Under the Tobacco Act 1987 (the Act) smoking is banned in the following areas:
- At or within 10 metres of children's playground equipment that is an outdoor public place.
- At or within 10 metres of a skate park that is an outdoor public place.
- At or within 10 metres of a sporting venue that is an outdoor public place during an organised underage sporting event, including training or practice sessions and during breaks or intervals in play.
- In an outdoor area of a swinning pool complex that is a public place.
Smoking is banned:
- In outdoor areas at hospitality and food venues used for eating food. This includes footpath dining areas, courtyards and beer gardens during times food is being eaten, or is available to be eaten.
- In all outdoor areas at food fairs. A food fair is an event where the principal activity is the supply of food for consumption at the event.
- Within 10 metres of a food stall or food vendor at organised outdoor event (other than a food fair).
To complement smoke-free outdoor dining, smoking is banned in an outdoor drinking area if any part of that area is within 4 metres of an outdoor dining area, unless separated by a wall of at least 2.1 metres high.
If the separation requirement is not met, smoking is banned in an outdoor drinking area. This law applies to the same venue as well as to neighbouring venues.
For further information on the new outdoor smoking bans please refer to the Department of Health website Tobacco Reforms and Smoke-Free Children's Recreational Areas or contact the Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136 775.