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Foodborne Illnesses

Foodborne Illnesses

Have you ever felt sick after eating a certain food? Well, unfortunately this is called a foodborne illness that results from eating contaminated food with bacteria, virus, parasites or toxins and contaminants. Consuming unclean food could lead to diarrhea, stomach ache, fever, vomiting and many other severe illnesses.

Safe food handling is the key to prevent foodborne illnesses. Protect your family and yourself from those sicknesses by following few simple tips while working with food:

  • Wash your hands and the preparation surfaces: before starting to handle food you need to wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm soapy water. Wash utensils and cutting boards with soap and warm water after each use and then dry thoroughly
  • Separate raw animal products from ready to eat foods: raw animal products such as meat, chicken, and fish contain a lot of bacteria and might contaminate your ready to eat foods if not well separated
  • Use different cutting boards: try to use colored cutting boards for each food type. For instance, use green ones for vegetables and read for meat. This way you prevent the spreading of bacteria from meat to vegetables
  • Replace old cutting boards containing hard-to-clean grooves with new ones; as the grooves might be host for many bacteria
  • Wash fruits and vegetables under clear running water without using detergents or produce. Scrub briskly using clean brush or hands to remove dirt and surface microorganisms
  • Never serve ready to eat foods on a plate that previously held raw animal products: unless the plate has first been washed in hot, soapy water
  • Cook foods to a safe temperature to kill available microorganisms especially animal products. Avoid raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs
  • Leftovers should be reheated once and to a proper temperature
  • Refrigerate prepared food and leftovers within 2 hours of preparation because the bacteria multiply most at room temperature
  • Never thaw foods at room temperature: you can instead thaw them in the refrigerator or in the microwave
  • Use refrigerated meat in maximum two days; and frozen produce in three to four months
  • Check the expiry date of canned products. Opt the rule of “First in, First out”, meaning that you should start consuming foods that were purchased previously before opening new ones