IT'S time to rethink the traditional sausage and sauce in bread and consider some healthier options, says Grampians Pyrenees Primary Care Partnership.
The health organisation is calling on the state government to allow community groups to serve a variety of vegetables at public barbecues instead of just onion, which is the only vegetable current regulations allow.
Food premise regulations are being reviewed for the first time in 10 years and the health organisation hopes its submission calling for corn, mushrooms and tomato to be on the menu will gain traction.
"We believe this submission to the Department of Health and Human Services Food Safety and the recommendations that go along with it will help provide more opportunity for our communities to eat healthier and have options when attending a barbeque or sausage sizzle," health promotion coordinator Lauren Dempsey said.
"Sausages are actually quite full of salt and it's a common myth that sausages and bread on a barbecue is a cheaper option.
"According to the Healthy Eating Advisory Service, providing a healthier barbecue is actually going to be cheaper.
"It's also nice to be able to reduce red tape for community groups hosting fundraisers and wanting to offer an alternative for their community."
View the Grampians Pyrenees PCP submission here:
Most recent available data from Grampians Pyrenees PCP showed that in 2014, 59 per cent of residents in Ararat were pre-obese or obese.
The data also showed that 54.4 per cent of residents did not eat enough fruit and vegetables to meet Australian guidelines.
"We are of the view that the inclusion of unprocessed vegetables - cooked and served immediately - in sausage sizzle events will not result in an unreasonable food safety risk or be a burden to enforce," Ms Dempsey said.
"We've put a call to action to our member agencies and anyone else who supports our submission to send a letter of support to firstname.lastname@example.org referencing our submission.
"Our core business is about partnerships and supporting healthier environments and communities. We hope this is a simple step the government can take to reduce barriers for community groups and help support our local communities."
Submissions are being accepted for 60 days from December 27. For more information, click here.
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