HAVE YOU BEING TAKING POISON? Preventing the occurrence of food-borne diseases
While you and me are trying to stay home, keep safe and survive as the deadly corona virus doesn’t seem to go anywhere anytime soon, we must also know that that isn’t the only nightmare we should look out for.
There are other tons of wicked disease causing organisms out there, and a top of this list is food poisoning — something we take too, too commonly.
In-fact, I believe that the most of us don’t take our food hygiene into consideration, not thoroughly – when that is actually very important.
Food-borne diseases (or food poisoning) is an everyday occurrence, and we’re all players consciously or subconsciously spreading them in our different ends, and yet, we’re all still at risk of contacting them. From the farmer, seller to the buyer/consumer, we must be very cautious of how we handle what we buy and eat.
What you do before you cook, eat — and how you preserve what have been cooked is imperative to determining your good health status to a large extent. Food is an important aspect of our lives, it’s something we take everyday to grow and survive, therefore, to ensure its safety is to ensure a rare or no visitations to the hospital for one food-borne disease or the other.
Alright, since food poisoning is as common as it is, does that mean it can’t be prevented? Definitely no! It can very well be prevented.
Just like we struggle to keep to the safety guidelines of covid-19, there are equally some food safety rules we must follow if we wish to consume a disease-free diet.
Wash hands with soap and water: Wet hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available. Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all parts of the hand for 20 seconds. Rinse hands thoroughly and dry using a clean paper towel. If possible, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet.
Sanitize surfaces: Surfaces should be washed with hot, soapy water. A solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water can be used to sanitize surfaces.
Clean sweep refrigerated foods once a week: At least once a week, throw out refrigerated foods that should no longer be eaten. Cooked leftovers should be discarded after 4 days; raw poultry and ground meats, 1 to 2 days.
Keep appliances clean: Clean the inside and the outside of appliances. Pay particular attention to buttons and handles where cross-contamination to hands can occur.
Separate foods when shopping: Place raw seafood, meat, and poultry in plastic bags. Store them below ready-to-eat foods in your refrigerator.
Separate foods when preparing and serving.
Always use a clean cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw seafood, meat, and poultry. Never place cooked food back on the same plate or cutting board that previously held raw food.
COOK / CHILL
Use a food thermometer when cooking: A food thermometer should be used to ensure that food is safely cooked and that cooked food is held at safe temperatures until eaten.
Cook food to safe internal temperatures: One effective way to prevent illness is to check the internal temperature of seafood, meat, poultry, and egg dishes. Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb, and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a safe minimum internal temperature of 145 °F. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least 3 minutes before carving or eating. Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F. Cook all poultry, including ground turkey and chicken, to an internal temperature of 165 °F.
Keep foods at safe temperatures: Hold cold foods at 40 °F or below. Keep hot foods at 140 °F or above. Foods are no longer safe to eat when they have been in the danger zone between 40-140 °F for more than 2 hours (1 hour if the temperature was above 90 °F).
Don’t forget, eating is what you do everyday, so try as much as possible to keep to these four basic safety rules: clean, separate, cook and chill.