If you’ve ever had food poisoning, you know how debilitating it can be, even if you’re in good health. Food poisoning can result in serious sickness or death in some cases. Food poisoning is commonly associated with restaurants, cafés, and fast food establishments, but you can get sick from food prepared at home just as easily. To prevent food poisoning, follow these ten guidelines.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
Hand washing thoroughly can avert nearly half of all cases of foodborne disease, as well as a third of all cases of upper respiratory infections. Cleanse your hands in warm water with soap. Always wash your hands from the palms of your hands to the wrists, between your fingers, and beneath your fingernails. If you have no access to a hand washing sink, you can use hand Sanitizers, as they are generally considered safe to use even before handling food. However, make sure that your sanitizer has at least 60% alcohol. The higher the concentration of alcohol, the more effective it’ll be.
Clean your kitchen countertops.
A dirty countertop is not only more likely to wear out faster, but it is also potentially dangerous. A cluttered and filthy countertop is a great environment for bacteria to thrive. Keeping work surfaces clean and sanitary, such as your countertops, is the greatest method to avoid ingesting hazardous food-borne bacteria.
Find a spray-on sanitizer that is appropriate for your countertop and use it as part of your cleaning exercise. A clean and sanitary countertop surface will assist prevent pests from becoming interested in anything you’ve left out, in addition to keeping you and your family safe from hazardous bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
Cook Food Thoroughly
Cook your dish thoroughly and make sure it’s hot all the way through. Look to determine if the chicken, pig, burgers, sausages, and kebabs are fully cooked with no pink flesh within. Do not wash raw meat, such as chicken and turkey, before cooking as that increases the danger of bacteria spreading throughout your kitchen. Although freezing raw chicken lowers Campylobacter levels, it does not entirely eliminate it. Cooking chicken thoroughly is the safest technique to eliminate all traces of Campylobacter.
Store Your Foods Properly
Choose food storage containers that are durable and non-toxic. Ensure that your food storage containers are clean and in good working order, and that they are solely used to store food. To prevent infection, cover them with tight-fitting lids, foil, or plastic film. Place the contents of open cans in appropriate containers. If you are in the hospitality industry, purchase a Levapack aluminum Foil Sealer which not only provides tamper evident seals, but it also prevents leaks and extends your products’ shelf life.
Use Color Coded Chopping Boards
Food safety is the reason for the various chopping board colors. Each colored chopping board is used for a different type of food or food groups in a colored chopping board system. A red chopping board, for example, is used differently from a green chopping board.
Using Color Coded boards reduces the danger of cross-contamination by keeping high-risk and low-risk foods distinct, such as raw meat and salad veggies. As a result, occurrences of food poisoning are reduced. Invest in two plastic boards (yellow and red) to help decrease the risk of cross-contamination from harmful bacteria to you and your family, even if you don’t require a full chopping board set.
Keep Raw and Cooked Food Separate
Maintain a safe distance between raw food especially meat and ready-to-eat meals such as salad, fruit, and bread. Any bacteria that may have gotten onto these meals from raw meat will not be eradicated because they will not be cooked before eating. Make sure that you store raw and cooked foods separately. Germs from raw food can contaminate cold cooked food, and if you do not cook the meal thoroughly again, the bacteria can multiply to lethal proportions. Raw food should always be stored in the bottom of the fridge in sealed or covered containers.
Keep Your Refrigerator at or below 5 Degrees Celsius
The temperature of your refrigerator should not exceed 5 degrees Celsius. When germs multiply and proliferate, you are at risk. Your refrigerator’s temperature will be affected by an overfilled refrigerator. Always leave the fridge door closed. The goal is to keep yourself and others from becoming ill as a result of bacteria such as Salmonella. One of the most effective strategies to avoid or inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria is to keep meals cold at correct temperatures.
Refrigerate Perishables Right Away
Refrigerated foods should be placed in the refrigerator as soon as they arrive home. Follow the “two-hour rule” while leaving things that require refrigeration out at room temperature. Allow no more than two hours for meat, poultry, fish, eggs, produce, or other goods that require refrigeration to sit at room temperature one hour if the ambient temperature is above 90° F. This includes items like leftovers and take-out food. Any bacteria that may have gotten onto these meals from raw meat will not be eradicated because they will not be cooked before eating. Also, avoid overcrowding the refrigerator or freezer to the point that air cannot circulate.
Every week, there appears to be a new warning about a foodborne illness outbreak in the United States. While many illnesses (such as salmonella, E. coli, and listeria poisoning) are not always preventable with these tips, you can dramatically lower your chances of getting food poisoning, whether you prepare your food at home or eat out.