Food poisoning can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. Hence, it should be a high priority to avoid it. Take some time to learn about how to prevent of food poisoning or lessen the chances that you or your loved ones will be included in the statistic of food poisoning.
For the fact that the topic is very wide, endeavour to make the teaching simple, concentrating on the most important points such as fundamental rules guiding a healthy food and let them see reasons why food go bad and harm human life.
You are what you eat, so take care and add value to whatever goes into you by observing the following points:
1. Be Vigilant about Washing Your Hands and All Surfaces
Cleanliness in food preparation is an absolute must. When working with food, you should wash your hands thoroughly before and after food preparation. Wash them properly, for at least 20 seconds with very warm water and soap.
Wash all surfaces thoroughly before use, to prevent contamination by anything that may have touched them since their last use. If you are unsure whether they are fully clean, it is better to spend a few extra minutes washing them again than to take any chances.
2. Know Who Is Preparing and Cooking Your Food
It is easy to control what goes on in your own kitchen. It is entirely another story when it comes to eating out, or eating at friends’ houses. Keep an eye on their food preparation habits, and don’t be afraid to turn down any foods that were not handled properly, even if you risk offending someone.
This is very important as there have been cases of Restaurants with hygienically poor cooking environment, who are only interested in the profit to be made and not the quality.
3. Cook Food Thoroughly
Always cook food properly. It must be cooked to a certain temperature, and for a certain amount of time. Follow the rules and don’t experiment when it comes to food safety.
Most poisoning from meat is because of poor cooking. Some bacteria exists in the intestines of animals used for meat. These meats become contaminated at abattoir during slaughter when the waste matter in the intestine is mixed with the meat; which in most cases looks and smells normal, so it is not readily detectable.
To prevent this food poisoning in meat, cook them until no pink is showing. Make sure all the meat juices are clear, not pink or red, and that the inside of the meat is hot.
4. Don’t Leave Food Sitting Out
When you have finished eating, put the leftovers away immediately. When you remove something from the fridge or freezer to use it, put it back as soon as you are finished. Don’t allow food to sit around, being exposed to temperatures that make it easy for bacteria to access and grow on.
5. Avoid Cross-Contamination
When you are storing foods, keep raw meats away from fresh produce. In the freezer, don’t set bags of frozen food close to ice cube trays, because this may contaminate the ice cubes when they touch each other. Don’t use utensils for one food and then another. Each food has its own rules about how long it needs to be cooked, so keep dishes and utensils separate and free of cross-contamination.
With regards to kitchen hygiene, use your clean kitchen towels to dry your hands. If you are using a sponge to clean the counters or sink, use a fresh one after working with raw meat.
Wash your cutting board with a diluted bleach solution before using again. And any utensils or dishes having contact with raw meat need to be washed and rinsed with soap and water before usage.
6. Don’t Take Chances
Some of us are terrified of being wasteful. Being overly cautious of this, however, can lead to poor choices when it comes to food safety.
If you can’t remember how long your food have been left over, it might be more than two days old, throw them away. If a food smells slightly sour, throw it away. If a food has an expiry date that has already passed, throw it away.
Never take chances on your health, or that of your family. It is better to lose a few dollars by throwing food away than to end up in hospital in severe pain.
Finally, note that by making sure your family understands food safety, you will improve their lives and even those they associate with.