Food poisoning is a common problem in our life and it can happen to you, me and anyone in reality. This complication is such that it can even happen to an infant. Bacteria, viruses, and parasites are the main culprits that cause food poisoning.
While in most of the cases, the condition is mild and lasts for a day or two, in some severe cases, it can even lead to hospitalization.
Food poisoning of any type can actually be prevented by adopting certain precautionary measures.
Some of the tips for food safety that can help in preventing food poisoning are noted below:
1. Thoroughly Cook the Food
Every food item must be cooked thoroughly. You can also use a meat thermometer for cooking fish, meat or chicken, as that would let you know whether your food has been thoroughly cooked or not.
The meat of any type, such as pork, beef, poultry, and lamb must be cooked at 145 degrees to 165 degrees. The higher, the better. You must learn how to place the food thermometer well inside the thicker part of the flesh other than the bone.
2. Thoroughly Cool The Food
The food needs to be cooled thoroughly before being put into the refrigerator. If you have leftovers, set them aside in separate dishes. Your freezer should be chilled enough so that you can store foods at a temperature that is below 40 degrees.
3. Leftovers Must Be Treated With Care
The leftovers must be placed inside the freezer within 2 hours. In any case, do not allow the leftovers to be kept outside for long as there are chances that certain bacteria might creep in.
If you have sausages and other such meat-based products as leftovers, chill them immediately, or if you intend to keep them outside, heat them properly. Sausage food poisoning is very common in America and you must be extra cautious in this regard.
Also when you are reheating the food, just heat as much as you require. If you carry on with the process of freezing and reheating for long, you are actually increasing your chances of acquiring food borne diseases.
4. Washing your hands
Your hands must be neatly washed before cooking, after cooking, before your meals and of course after your meals. After you handle raw foods, such as meats, chicken or fishes, wash your hand with soap and water.
Improper hand washing is the primary cause of food poisoning in the nation. Though these are very basic etiquette, we often fail to abide by them.
5. Cross contamination Must Be Avoided
Cross contamination spreads through the use of the same cutting board, knife and utensils for various purposes. The knife that you use for cutting raw meat should not be used for cutting vegetables, not until it is thoroughly washed with water and then rinsed.
You must have separate knives for raw foods, vegetables, and bread, you can also use separate cutting boards for the better. Also, don’t forget to pass on your kitchen rules to everyone at home.
The golden rule is that hot foods must be kept hot and cold foods must be kept cold and if you have any doubts in your mind then throw the food out.
Avoid Food Poisoning – Practice 3 Simple Habits
Microorganisms are highly present in all the foods that we eat. However, all these bacteria are not bad; bacteria can either be good or bad. Beneficial bacteria are present in the human intestine and help in digesting the food that we consume. Also, there are some harmful bacteria types as well that grow on the food and that in turn makes us feel sick.
So then what is the way to reduce the chances of falling ill due to these foods? If you are a kitchen expert, you would probably know how to handle all of that. Some healthy cooking practices can help in avoiding food poisoning thoroughly:
1. Cook the meats thoroughly
If the meat is under cooked or uncooked, it can lead to different bacterial growth. Most of these bacteria can make a person ill by coming in contact with the cells in your stomach.
The remaining bacteria would keep developing on the meat and would also lead to the formation of toxins that can make you feel sick and terrible. If the meat is not cooked properly, it can also lead to several health risks.
Cooking the meat thoroughly would actually kill the bacteria and germs present in the meat, thus preventing you from falling sick. Also, well-cooked meat can be kept in the freezer for longer than usual.
2. Have Separate Knives
Meats are usually diced or sliced before cooking. In doing so, people often end up using the same knife and cutting board for meats and vegetables and salads as well.
While you are cutting the raw meat, the bacteria tend to get attached to the knife and using the same knife for another purpose would allow the bacteria to enter into the same food. This leads to food poisoning most of the time.
In such cases, the knife must be thoroughly rinsed and then used. Also, you can have a different set of knives for different purposes to avoid any confusion.
3. Wash Your Vegetables and Fruits Properly
This is very important. Before eating raw vegetables and whole fruits, you need to wash them thoroughly. This is one such habit that needs to be practiced.
Fungus and bacteria tend to grow on the fruit’s outer surface and these cannot be seen by our naked eyes. Washing these vegetables and fruits properly would help in eliminating the bacteria and germs if present. Also, this habit would allow you to wash your hands as well.
An average adult having a healthy immune system can sometimes prevent the impact of food poisoning and all the credit for this goes to their immune system.
However, that doesn’t give you the liberty to have unhealthy and under cooked foods and especially meats. Salmonella food poisoning is caused by poultry and particularly under cooked chicken. Sometimes meat spreads, sausages, and salami can also be the cause of food poisoning.
These foods must be properly cooked before consumption. Meat spreads, in particular, can house bacteria and cause various problems as well. These products must be refrigerated properly to avoid the buildup of germs and bacteria. Also, look into the label to check the expiry date of the product before purchasing it.