On Saturday, September 3, scientists from the Croatian Agency for Agriculture and Food (HAPIH) joined the smell of delicious food from the Food Truck Festival by Zagreb’s lake Jarun and talked with visitors about topics related to food safety. In the afternoon, they had the opportunity to observe how food blogger Mile Butorac (@hungry_mile) prepares nutritionally rich dishes paying attention to food safety and hygiene.
Reading food labels and using leftovers can reduce food waste, properly storing and maintaining hygiene in the kitchen can reduce the risk of food poisoning, avoiding burnt food can reduce the intake of acrylamide, and animal welfare is very important for food safety. Those were just a few topics that the chef and scientists educated the visitors about.
The chef used softened fruit to prepare chia jam and mini banana pancakes, and pasta leftovers to make cold chickpeas and cheese salad. At the same time, the scientist explained food hygiene rules: keep clean, separate raw from cooked, cook thoroughly, keep food at safe temperatures, defrost safely, and use clean water and safe raw materials. The main dish was chicken tortilla and sauce with roasted peppers and feta cheese. Along with this dish, the scientist explained the importance of thoroughly roasting the chicken and reducing acrylamide in the tortilla by avoiding it from getting burnt.
In addition to the educational culinary workshop, visitors had the opportunity to test their food safety knowledge in a quiz and win a special reward. The idea of the workshop was to educate all visitors who want to know more about the mentioned topics because we can enjoy the richness of flavours carefree only when we know that the food we consume is safe.
The workshop was a part of the campaign “EU Choose Safe Food”, which HAPIH is coordinating at the national level for the second year in a row. As a part of the campaign, launched at the EU level by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), consumers are educated with practical and accessible tips so that everyone can make science-based food choices. Croatia is one of the ten countries where this campaign is running this year. More information is available on the #EUChooseSafeFood website.