The dangers of food poisoning

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I am sure we have all heard of food poisoning, but do we really know what the common causes actually are? Many different types of food can make you sick. When the handling of food is poor it can contain harmful bacteria and viruses which lead to food poisoning. Sometimes the food may not look, taste or smell any different than it normally does but in reality you could be consuming more than you bargained for.

The risk of food poisoning can be minimized by taking simple precautions. Some of the more common high risk foods include raw and cooked meat (such as chicken), dairy products, eggs, prepared salads, smallgoods (ham, salami), seafood and ready-to-eat meals. It is important that food is stored outside the ‘temperature danger zone’. The danger zone is from 5 to 60 degrees Celsius, which is where the bacteria grows the fastest. This means that we need to keep food either very hot or very cold in order to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

When preparing food it is important to separate meats from fresh food, as well as raw and cooked meat. If they are not separated, it is known as cross contamination. This occurs when a bacteria or virus is transferred from a contaminated food to a non-contaminated. This happens more frequently when using raw and cooked meat together or raw meat and fresh foods together. This can be minimized by using separate chopping boards, knives and plates when preparing food.

For obvious reasons we should be washing our hands before handling food, after touching raw meat or unwashed vegetables, after using the bathroom, blowing your nose or touching a pet. These are small factors that people often forget. You should be thoroughly washing your hands with hot water and lathered soap, then drying your hands completely with a clean towel. It is just a simple step to reducing the risks of bacteria.

Lastly, the storing of food is an important step to avoid food poisoning and it is often done incorrectly, both in the household and other environments such as supermarkets and restaurants. In your fridge, make sure you are separating raw food from cooked food. Store the raw meat at the bottom of the fridge to reduce chances of dripping juices onto other foods. Also check the temperature of your fridge, as it should be below 5°C and your freezer at below -15°C. Cover all foods with lids or plastic wraps and don’t use or store any opened tin cans.

By following these simple steps we can all reduce the risk of food poisoning in our homes. Make sure you are preparing your food safely, using clean utensils and storing your food correctly in safe conditions. Did you know that severe cases of food poisoning can kill? Don’t take these precautions lightly , bacteria can multiply very quickly and it won’t stop for anyone.

For more information on the prevention of food head to http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Food_poisoning_how_to_prevent_it

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sean Breslin on May 23, 2013 at 1:57 am

    I wouldn’t wish food poisoning on anyone. It’s simply terrible.

    Reply

  2. I loved this article. It has great structure and is very informative. Keep it up!

    Reply

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