How to avoid food poisoning and foodborne illness in summer
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has cautioned residents to safeguard themselves against food poisoning and foodborne illness throughout the summer by practicing good food hygiene and avoiding eating contaminated food.
Adopting safe and clean food preparation methods can help to avoid food poisoning or foodborne illness. Foodborne diseases can be caused by consuming foods directly contaminated with microorganisms (e.g. salmonella in chicken) or food contaminated by diseased food handlers (e.g. typhoid, hepatitis A).
Food poisoning can be especially severe for people with low immunity such as infants and the elderly.
- You need to fully clean work surfaces, crockery, cutlery, cooking utensils, and other equipment by using warm water with detergent.
- Make sure that utensils and other equipment are dry before reusing them.
- Frequently wash and dry kitchen towels, sponges and cloths and do not forget to replace sponges regularly.
- You can reduce the risk of cross-contamination by using paper towels, which by being disposable cannot harbor and spread bacteria.
- Keep appliances including microwave ovens, toasters, can openers, and blender and mixer blades free of residual food particles.
Purchase, Transport, and Storage
- Do not purchase food items that have defective packaging, that are improperly sealed or that show signs of spoilage.
- Do not purchase or consume the contents of swollen or leaking cans and throw out the contents of any can if there is an unusual odor.
- Keep the purchasing of chilled and frozen foods until the end of a shopping trip to avoid warming or thawing of these products.
- Always read the label for storage instructions of purchased food items.
- Check the expiry date of packaged food before purchasing.
- When opening vacuum-sealed jars, make sure to listen for a popping sound, which indicates that the jar’s seal was intact.
- Make sure that areas used for food storage, such as cupboards, are clean and that foods are stored in food-grade containers away from chemicals.
- Store raw foods separately from ready-to-eat foods in the refrigerator to prevent cross-contamination.
- Store frozen food in fully sealed packages to prevent “freezer burn” (i.e. the drying that occurs on the surface of a product and negatively affects its quality but not its safety).
- The store opened canned foods in the refrigerator, preferably not in the can. Store rehydrated foods in the refrigerator (e.g. beans, corn, chickpeas).
- Store dried food in a sealed container and in a cool, dry place away from direct heat or sunlight.
- Make sure that the refrigerator temperature is 5 °C or lower.
- Cover all cooked foods and store them on a shelf above uncooked foods.
- Wrap raw meats or place them in a closed container and store them near the bottom of the refrigerator to prevent the dripping of meat juices on other foods.
- Regularly clean the fridge and freezer shelves and doors and immediately clean up incidental spills. Make sure that frozen food is kept completely frozen.
- Eat refrigerated leftovers and ready-to-eat meals within 1–2 days.
Preparation, Cooking, and Serving
- Wash hands well with soap before preparing the food, giving attention to areas between fingers and under fingernails.
- After washing, dry your hands using a clean towel or a paper towel.
- Clean the chopping board and utensils used for cutting up raw meat in hot soapy water before using them for preparing foods to be eaten raw (e.g. vegetables, fruit).
- Keep vegetables separate from raw meat, chicken, and fish while shopping, preparing, and storing.
- Thaw foods in the refrigerator or a microwave oven, using the defrost setting. When thawing raw meat, make sure meat juices do not contaminate other foods, containers, or utensils.
- Wash fruits and vegetables under running water before peeling and cutting. Rub vegetables briskly to remove dirt.
- When preparing green salads, make sure to thoroughly wash leaves as these items are usually harder to clean.
- Do not partially cook products and finish cooking them later; meat, fish, and poultry must be thoroughly cooked before storage in the refrigerator.
- Carefully select meat intended to be eaten raw and to consume it immediately.
- Limit the time during which cooked foods such as stews and other meat and poultry dishes are left at room temperature (no more than two hours).
- Refrigerate milk-based deserts and consume them in 1–2 days after purchase or preparation.
- Never serve cooked food in plates and utensils that have held raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
- When reheating food, heat it until it is “steaming hot” throughout.
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What else can anybody use to smell if not a nose ?
ROFL ............. rofl ............... r o l f .................
Too much water is wasted in the kitchen .......... ........
Sadly, this doesn't work for people who have the Corona Virus. They loose their smell and taste examinations have found.
I have a simple trick I have used from my childhood days: I use my nose to smell the food.
It works pretty well!