In this HowTos, we are looking at How To Avoid Food Poisoning.
Food Poisoning is simply an illness caused by eating contaminated food. It has its common symptoms which include: nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The following are some ways to help you avoid the risk of food poisoning at home.
1. Wash hands thoroughly
It is necessary to keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly before you embark on kitchen duties, and also important to repeat the same after.
With soap and water (warm or cold), be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and dry them before handling food, after handling raw food – including meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables – and after touching the bin, going to the toilet, blowing your nose or touching animals (including pets).
2. Wash aprons
Aprons attract dirt easily when exposed to oil and smoke in the kitchen. Food poisoning bacteria finds it a breeding place if not washed often.
Wash aprons before and after preparing food, particularly after they’ve been touched by raw meat (including poultry), raw eggs, fish, and vegetables. You don’t need to use antibacterial sprays: hot, soapy water is fine.
3. Wash dishcloths
Same as aprons, more important because you sometimes use it to dry your hands.
Wash dishcloths and tea towels regularly, and let them dry before you use them again. Dirty, damp cloths are the perfect place for germs to spread.
4. Use separate chopping boards
Chopping boards are what is used when cutting raw foods.
When preparing raw food, like meat and fish, be sure to use separate chopping boards. This is to avoid contaminating ready-to-eat foods with harmful bacteria that can be present in raw food before it has been cooked.
5. Keep raw meat separate
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 bacteria that get onto the foods from the raw meat won’t be killed.
6. Store raw meat on the bottom shelf
Always cover raw meat and store it on the bottom shelf of the fridge, where it can’t touch or drip onto other foods.
7. Cook food thoroughly
A thoroughly cooked food is void of harmful bacteria. This is because it is cooked with steam heat and any bacteria or germ dies in the process.
Make sure poultry, pork, burgers, sausages, and kebabs are cooked until steaming hot, with no pink meat inside. Don’t wash raw meat (including chicken and turkey) before cooking, as this can spread bacteria around your kitchen.
Freezing raw chicken reduces the levels of campylobacter bacteria but doesn’t eliminate them completely. The safest way to kill all traces of Campylobacter is by cooking chicken thoroughly.
8. Keep your fridge below 5C
Keep your fridge temperature below 5C and use a fridge thermometer to check it. This prevents harmful germs from growing and multiplying.
Avoid overfilling your fridge – if it’s too full, air can’t circulate properly, which can affect the overall temperature.
9. Cool leftovers quickly
If you have cooked food that you’re not going to eat straight away, cool it as quickly as possible (within 90 minutes) and store it in the fridge or freezer. Use any leftovers from the fridge within 2 days.
10. Respect ‘use-by’ dates
Don’t eat food that’s past its use-by date, even if it looks and smells okay. Use-by dates are based on scientific tests that show how quickly harmful bugs can develop in the packaged food.
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