Food Poisoning: 4 Ways to Ensure you Avoid It
It is estimated that in America alone there are around 48 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually, which averages out to food poisoning in 1 in 6 Americans each year! Of those Americans, approximately 128,000 people had been admitted to the hospital and 3,000 people have died. This a serious and dangerous situation which can easily be avoided! In this article, we will be discussing how to do that in a few simple steps!
Firstly, take care to properly clean and disinfect your home! Bacteria love the dirt, and we do not want any dirt on our floors, counters, kitchen, or our clothes, so make sure you’re keeping everywhere clean, regardless if it’s related to food or not. Ensure that your hands and work surfaces are washed and wiped before, during and after preparing food- this includes all utensils, cutting boards, and countertops that may have been used to prepare food. It may seem obvious, but it’s the small things people seem to forget or get complacent about!
Do not cross-contaminate
You need to make sure that you are keeping certain foods away from each other, such as raw meats kept away from cooked meats. Raw meats such as chicken may possess salmonella which is extremely dangerous and can cause food poisoning if mixed with cooked chicken! Also, if a chopping board has been used for raw meats, please please please ensure that this chopping board is thoroughly washing and dried so that it is completed disinfected from potential disease and hazard. This also means to keep the cooked and raw meats separate once prepared and handled such as in the fridge. As a rule of thumb, keep the raw meats at the bottom of the fridge so that if the bag or packet cut and chicken juices or meat juices leaked out, they would not contaminate the cooked foods.
It is imperative to make sure that food is cooked for long enough! This is especially important for raw poultries such as chicken and turkey. Cooking to the right internal temperature kills harmful bacteria that will still remain on the food if not cooked for long enough. You may think the food is cooked on the outside, but like people, it’s what is on the inside that counts! To help with this, you could purchase a thermometer that you can poke into the food to see whether it is the correct temperature it should be, that way you can be extra safe and sure that you have cooked to food for the right amount of time and can ensure you peace of mind that you will not get food poisoning!
Did you know that you should keep your jam jar in the fridge? This is because the crumbs from your toast get stuck in the jam, and if the jam is too hot, bacteria will form on the crumbs! Because jam itself is so sugary, if there weren’t any crumbs then you can chuck it back in the fridge, but be aware of the crusts in the jam! Always make sure that your fridge is 40 Fahrenheit or below, this stops bacteria from multiplying as it is too cold for them to grow. If it is too hot, bacteria can multiple 4 times itself in 20 minutes, which can lead to serious food poisoning which we definitely want to avoid! It is also important to refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of cooling down to prevent them from going off.
My name is Warren. I enjoy writing about food analyzing how does it affect our health and well-being.