Food poisoning is a food-borne illness that affects many households due to improper handling of foods. Food poising is very distressing to the victims and worse, it can be life-threatening. People who are victims of food poisoning may experience symptoms ranging from diarrhea and intestinal discomfort to dehydration or even death. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you may already be a victim of food poisoning. It would be good to seek medical attention immediately.
However, prevention is better than cure. So to prevent food poisoning in your household, here are some important tips:
1. Wash your hands before handling food.
Wash your hands thoroughly before handling food especially those that do not require cooking such as fruits or vegetable salads. This is especially true if you just touched the bin or handled raw foods like meat, or if you just came from the toilet or did other things where your hands can easily pick-up germs.
2. Wash your workshop, cutting boards and knives after use.
Do not just leave your tabletop or workshop as well as your cutting boards and knives unwashed after using them. Wash them immediately to avoid bacterial contamination. Additionally, wash your sponges and dishcloths regularly as they can be breeding grounds for bacteria which can transfer to your plates and other utensils, and eventually into the food your family will be eating.
3. Keep a separate storage for raw meat.
When storing food in the refrigerator, keep a separate container for raw meat and for frozen ready-to-eat foods. Bacteria cannot be killed unless the food is thoroughly cooked. When they are stored together, there are bacteria in your meat that can contaminate your ready-to-eat foods. And since they will not be cooked, there is no way of killing the bacteria. In the freezer, it would be good to store raw meat at the bottom shelf where it can’t drip on other foods.
4. Wash and cook foods thoroughly.
When preparing meat and vegetables for cooking, make sure to wash them thoroughly in running water. Meat including pork, poultry, beef, sausages and burgers and also seafood must be thoroughly cooked as they are the primary cause of food contamination in many households.
5. Store leftover foods properly.
To prevent food poisoning, leftover foods must be stored in the refrigerator and be consumed in two days. If you don’t intend to consume them immediately, it would be good to store them in the freezer.
6. Don’t consume foods beyond their expiration date.
Packaged foods have expiration dates which you should take notice. Beyond these dates, most foods are no longer safe for consumption.
7. When purchasing meat and seafood, check for freshness.
When seafood and meat products are no longer fresh they can already be contaminated with bacteria, and consuming them will surely cause food poisoning. To prevent food poisoning, always ensure that what you are cooking and serving to your family are fresh products.
8. Do not prepare food if you are sick.
To prevent food poisoning, avoid preparing food for your family if you are sick especially with diarrhea because you may be contaminating the food and would spread your illness to others.
These tips are just some of the ways that you can apply to prevent food poisoning in the family.