Title : How to prevent food poisioning Previous | Next
Food poisoning, also called food borne illness, is a common, distressing, and sometimes life-threatening problem for people.People infected with food borne organisms may be symptom-free or may have symptoms ranging from mild intestinal discomfort to severe dehydration and bloody diarrhea.
Food poisoning can occur in anyone consuming contaminated food; however, it most likely occurs in those with weaker immune systems like infants and the elderly. Other groups that are vulnerable include those with chronic diseases like AIDS and pregnant women. Healthy teens and adults are less likely to suffer severe consequences of food poisoning due to their robust immune system.
Depending on the type of infection, people can even die as a result of food poisoning. That is why it is very important to take steps to prevent food poisoning.Follow these tips to reduce the risk of food poisoning at home.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water and dry them before handling food and after handling raw meat, going to the toilet, blowing your nose or touching animals (including pets).
- Wash worktops before and after preparing food, particularly after they've been touched by raw meat, including poultry, raw eggs, fish and vegetables.
- Use separate chopping boards for raw food and for ready-to-eat food. Raw foods can contain harmful bacteria that can spread very easily to anything they touch, including other foods, worktops, chopping boards and knives.
- Cut away any damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating.
- Dry the fruit and vegetables with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.
- Avoid unpasteurized fruit juices – Most fruit juices are pasteurized, but double check the labels.
- It's especially important to keep raw meat away from ready-to-eat foods such as salad, fruit and bread. This is because these foods won't be cooked before you eat them, so any bacterium that gets on to the foods won't be killed.
- Always cover raw meat and store it on the bottom shelf of the fridge where it can't touch other foods or drip on to them.
- Wash raw vegetables and fruits thoroughly before eating, especially those that will not be cooked. Avoid eating alfalfa sprouts until their safety can be assured. Methods to decontaminate alfalfa seeds and sprouts are being investigated.
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked meats and eggs. Check expiration dates on meats before purchasing and again before preparing.
- Mother's milk is the safest food for young infants. Breast-feeding may prevent many food borne illnesses and other health problems.
- Throw away the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.
- Avoid the danger zone. Refrigerate perishable foods within two hours or within one hour if they are exposed to temperatures above 90 degrees.
- Clean chopping boards – Plastic boards can be simply put into the dishwasher. However, wood boards should be cleaned with an unscented bleach solution. New wood boards are best as old ones and plastic boards tend to allow germs to resurface more easily. Also, after cleaning them, let the chopping boards remain a part from other dishes in order to let them dry completely. Moist attracts germs as well.