February 22, 2024

Food Art

Moments of Making, One Bite at a Time

South Korea issues food safety warnings for fresh foods and rice rolls in ‘high-risk’ fall season

3 min read

Fresh foods such as raw vegetables and eggs as are very commonly used to make gimbap rice rolls in South Korea, either by food manufacturers, retailers or consumers themselves at home, and are considered a major traditional food staple.

These ingredients, in combination with the more variant temperatures seen during the fall season, have been noted to cause a significant uptick of food poisoning cases due to bacterial contamination during this timeframe.

Retailers and manufacturers would do well to monitor the in-store temperatures of such products more closely during this time as well in order to minimise food poisoning occurrences and the potential negative consequences from any outbreak.

“The major risks like with fresh foods such as raw vegetables if not processed properly, meat if not fully cooked or handled well, cooked foods containing eggs such as egg rolls, and complex foods utilising these ingredients especially gimbap,”​ South Korean Minister of Food and Drug Safety Oh Yoo-kyung said via a formal statement.

“The risk of food poisoning is especially high during the fall season because even though the mornings and evenings tend to be chilly, temperatures will rise during the day and [increase the suitable conditions for] bacterial growth.

“Consumers tend to neglect this due to the varying temperatures, which leads to hygiene-related oversights or foods being stored at temperatures higher than what was expected – Over the past five years between 2018 and 2022, we have seen over 9,000 patients fall victim to food poisoning during the fall season between September and November.

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