Food poisoning is when you eat contaminated or spoiled foods, and about 48 million people suffer from it each year. A lot of people get food poisoning from restaurants… or at least that’s when it’s the most noticeable. Most cases of food poisoning come from home cooking.
There are a few very basic things that you can do to avoid food poisoning. One of the easiest ways is cooking food properly and at the right temperatures. This is especially true for meats where the cooking time varies on the size and type of the meat. It also helps to wash your foods well, making sure to scrub them with a vegetable brush.
Keep your kitchen clean and use separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables. Wash your sponges and vegetable brushes in the dishwasher when you can, or find alternate methods of cleaning them. You should still replace these somewhat frequently. Make sure that your refrigerator is at the proper temperature and of course… wash your hands before and after preparing a meal.
It’s very important to wash your vegetables and fruits. But even more so for lettuce, celery, and any other green vegetables. These types of vegetables grow close to the ground and will have dirt on them even when you buy them from the supermarket. The fact that they grew so close to the ground means that they might have some bacteria on them as well. Nothing harmful in small doses, but harmful bacteria like salmonella and E.coli is present as well. Taking extra care when washing these vegetables helps to make sure that the bacteria are gone before you eat it.
Your meat products are also a breeding ground for bacteria. Keep your meat separate from other groceries in your cart and your fridge as well. And make sure that you always thaw foods in the refrigerator, under cold water, or in the microwave. Leaving it out on your counter for the whole day only encourages bacteria growth, since bacteria can grow rapidly even in temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Eggs and dairy products are the next leading causes of food poisoning. It’s important to pay attention to the expiration date on milk and eggs and make sure that both are refrigerated before you attempt to use them.
These simple, easy tips will help you to avoid a nasty bout of flu poisoning. With summer here, there are plenty of more fun things to do besides being sick.