Tips to prevent food poisoning
Food poisoning is a condition that is the result of eating contaminated food. This can happen due to wrong handling, storing or preparation. Food poisoning may happen immediately after eating or after hours. Nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and headaches are symptoms.
Before you start preparing food, wash your hands with warm, soapy water. Avoid using the same cutting board for raw food such as salads and foods that will be cooked such as meat. This will help in preventing the cross contamination of food. Most kinds of food must be cooked to a temperature of at least 75 °C.
Storing food right
While storing, keep the raw food separated from the cooked food. Store raw food at the bottom of the fridge to prevent the dripping of any juices which may contaminate other food. Ensure that the fridge temperature is always kept below 5 °C and the freezer temperature below -15 °C. Make sure that you keep food completely covered with lids, tin foil or plastic wrap. Do not stuff your fridge, make sure there is enough space for air to circulate.
Food poisoning bacteria tend to grow the most in the temperature range between 5 °C and 60 °C which is known as the ‘temperature danger zone’. Therefore, perishable food must be kept either very cold or very hot to prevent food poisoning.
Follow 'use-by' dates
Avoid eating food that has crossed its use-by date, even if it appears and smells fine. Use-by dates are determined by scientific tests and they harmful bugs can develop in the packaged food.
Make sure you clean worktops before and after preparing food especially after they have been touched by raw meat, poultry, raw eggs, fish and vegetables. Hot, soapy water works fine.