BE INFORMED: Know the law about refunds before you take back unwanted gifts.
BE INFORMED: Know the law about refunds before you take back unwanted gifts. Kevin Farmer

Surviving Boxing Day in Bundaberg

THOUSANDS will hit Bundy's shops for today's Boxing Day sales but bagging a bargain won't be the only thing they'll be doing.

We've put this guide together for surviving the post-Christmas period.

BOXING DAY OPENING HOURS

  • Hinkler Central 9am-3pm
  • Stockland Bundaberg 10am-5pm
  • Woolworths 9am-6pm
  • Coles 9am-6pm
  • Kmart 9am-6pm
  • Target 9am-6pm
  • Big W 9am-5pm
  • Harvey Norman 9am-5.30pm
  • The Good Guys 9am-6pm
  • JB Hi-Fi 9am-6pm
  • Best and Less Sugarland 10am-4pm
  • Best and Less CBD 10am-3pm

REFUNDS, RETURNS AND EXCHANGES

BOXING Day is the time to exchange unwanted gifts and as well as taking advantage of the sales.

Understanding how the law works regarding refunds and exchanges after Christmas will come in handy if you're planning to make returns.

"While retailers must abide by the Australian Consumer Law, individual retailers may have differing policies for refunds and exchanges - many retailers are often happy to exchange or refund items but they aren't always legally required to,” Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said.

"If you simply change your mind or pick the wrong colour or size, you're not entitled to a refund under the Australian Consumer Law.

"If you buy a product that is faulty, damaged or dangerous, the retailer must offer you a remedy, such as a refund or replacement.

"Keep your receipts to help streamline the process if you do need to seek a refund or exchange.”

The Office of Fair Trading offers these tips for shoppers:

  • Remember retailers aren't legally obliged to exchange or refund items if you change your mind and different retailers may have different policies around exchanges.
  • Keep your receipts and take a photo of them.
  • If a product is faulty, damaged or dangerous you are entitled to a remedy such as a refund, replacement or repair.
  • If you're claiming a refund or replacement because the product was faulty, you don't need the original packaging.
  • "No refunds on sale items” signs are illegal - if a product is faulty, damaged or dangerous you are entitled to a remedy such as a refund or a replacement whether it was on sale or not.

Click here for more information.

DON'T BE A TURKEY WITH CHRISTMAS LEFTOVERS

CHRISTMAS is over but you still have plenty of leftovers to dig into on Boxing Day, so make sure you're not the host to cause food poisoning.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service is urging people to be aware of possible issues and to use good food safety practices to prevent cross-contamination from happening.

"While we should always practise good food hygiene, it's especially true when hosting Christmas and new year events because no one wants to be sick during the holidays,” Wide Bay public health physician Dr Margaret Young said.

"Cross-contamination of food is one of the big issues, but you can take a number of steps to prevent germs spreading, including planning ahead so you serve the food as close as possible to when you prepared it.

"Another simple step is to thoroughly clean any chopping boards, knives and other equipment that has been used to prepare meat or poultry before using it on other food.

"People should also keep their food chilled in cooler bags and cooler boxes that have plenty of ice or ice bricks if they're travelling to enjoy the great Australian tradition of a holiday meal at the beach or in the park.”

Different types of food poisoning can cause a variety of symptoms including diarrhoea, fevers, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps.

One of the best ways to combat a bout of gastroenteritis or food poisoning is to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and get plenty of rest. Rehydration solutions available from pharmacies and supermarkets help replace water, salts and fluids lost during vomiting and diarrhoea.

"By practising good food safety, you'll reduce the likelihood of food poisoning and keep the holidays an enjoyable experience,” Dr Young said.

"Lastly, if you're still in doubt at all about food, then don't serve it. It's better to be safe and discard than be ill,” she said.

If you're experiencing severe symptoms, call your GP.

Other useful tips to keep your holiday meal safe include:

  • Keep all poultry and meat separate from other foods.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly before you prepare and serve food.
  • Keep cold food chilled below 5 degrees and hot food above 60 degrees to prevent germs from multiplying.
  • Don't wash poultry - any splashing in the food preparation area can spread germs and increase the risk of poisoning.
  • Discard eggs that are cracked and dirty. Ensure children under two, pregnant women, over-65s and anyone seriously ill don't eat raw eggs. If you do cook eggs, make sure the whites are firm and the yolk starts to thicken.
  • Defrost your food in the refrigerator or microwave. Don't leave it on the bench or out in the open to defrost.
  • Freshly cooked food that is not used immediately should have its temperature reduced as quickly as possible. Ensure you divide the food and place it in air-tight containers to store in the fridge or freezer before it stops steaming.