Food Poisoning is a common problem -- but it’s also one that can often be prevented.
Many cases are mild and you get better without treatment. But some cases may be so severe that you need to go to a hospital for treatment. To avoid getting a foodborne illness in the first place, there are some general guidelines to follow.
Here are some tips to help you reduce your risk of food poisoning at home.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water (warm or cold) and dry them before handling food, after handling raw food – including meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables – and after touching the bin, going to the toilet, blowing your nose or touching animals (including pets).
Wash worktops before and after preparing food, particularly after they've been touched by raw meat (including poultry), raw eggs, fish and vegetables. You don't need to use antibacterial sprays: hot, soapy water is fine.
Wash dishcloths and tea towels regularly, and let them dry before you use them again. Dirty, damp cloths are the perfect place for germs to spread.
Use a separate chopping board to prepare raw food, such as meat and fish. This is to avoid contaminating ready-to-eat foods with harmful bacteria that can be present in raw food before it has been cooked.
Always use clean dishes and utensils that have had any contact with raw meat, poultry, fish, or eggs.
Always use a thermometer when cooking. Cook beef to at least 160°F (71°C), poultry to at least 165°F (73.8°C), and fish to at least 145°F (62.7°C).
DO NOT place cooked meat or fish back onto the same plate or container that held the raw meat, unless the container has been completely washed.
It's especially important to keep raw meat away from ready-to-eat foods, such as salad, fruit, and bread. This is because these foods won't be cooked before you eat them, so any bacteria that get onto the foods from the raw meat won't be killed.
Always cover raw meat and store it on the bottom shelf of the fridge, where it can't touch or drip onto other foods.
Refrigerate any perishable food or leftovers within 2 hours. Keep the refrigerator set to around 40°F (4.4°C) and your freezer at or below 0°F (-18°C). DO NOT eat meat, poultry, or fish that has been refrigerated uncooked for longer than 1 to 2 days. Use any leftovers from the fridge within 2 days.
DO NOT use outdated foods, packaged food with a broken seal, or cans that are bulging or have a dent.
DO NOT use foods that have an unusual odor or a spoiled taste.
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Do you have any food poisoning experience? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.