9 Ways to Prevent Food Poisoning
HealthAfter50 | Aug 22, 2016 Aug 23, 2016
Stay safe at home
Foodborne illnesses caused by strains of bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli, as well as parasites, toxins, and viruses sicken millions of people and cause 128,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. each year. Here are some helpful tips for preventing them.
1. Wash your hands
Scrub thoroughly with soap and water before, during, and after cooking, after using the bathroom, and any time you’re in contact with someone who is ill.
2. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables
Run cold water over fruits and vegetables before eating them. There’s no need, however, to rinse or wash meat or poultry before cooking.
3. Keep food cold
Marinate and defrost foods in the refrigerator, not on the kitchen counter, to prevent the growth of bacteria.
4. Cook meat, poultry, and eggs thoroughly
Adequately cooking food kills bacteria. Avoid raw eggs, meat, poultry, and sprouts, as well as unpasteurized milk and juices.
5. Use separate cutting boards and utensils
Separate raw meat and poultry to avoid contaminating other foods. In addition, keep raw, cooked, and ready-to-eat foods separate while shopping and when storing them.
6. Clean your kitchen counters and sink
Use disinfectant after preparing food. You can disinfect by using a mixture of ¼ cup of bleach per 1 gallon of clean water.
7. Wash sponges in the dishwasher
Do this every two days and discard when they start to smell. Sponges are breeding grounds for bacteria.
8. Refrigerate all cooked items
That will help prevent the growth of bacteria. If you have large amounts of food, separate them into shallow containers so they’ll cool faster in the refrigerator.
9. Pay attention to news reports
Heed warnings about problems with contaminated foods. Temporarily avoid eating those foods until the contamination risk has passed. Following food safety suggestions is even more important if your immune system has been weakened by diseases such as cancer or HIV.