Tuesday, August 21, 2012

5 Ways To Help Prevent Food-Related Illnesses

      Even though the weather is beginning to cool, there’s plenty of outdoor grilling and picnicking to be done.  Whether it’s a barbecue in the backyard, the company picnic, or just toasting marshmallows around the camp fire.

     The hot temperature and casual attitude are not only ideal for humans but for microorganisms as well such as bacteria. These organisms also feast during the summer and are able to cause illnesses by contaminating the food.

     Here are 5 suggestions to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable summer, free from food borne illnesses.  Remember, even though these types of illnesses are more common in the summer, these rules should be followed year round!

     1. Always clean your hands meticulously and completely for around 20 seconds, using warm water and soap, every time you handle food and go to the bathroom.

     2. Maintain the cleanliness of your surfaces and apparatus. This includes soaping up your countertops, utensils, cutting boards, kitchen equipment after handling them and before handling food.

    3. Handle individual foods independent of each other. Bacteria can go from one food to another via cross contamination. Avoid handling eggs, raw meat, and seafood all at the same time since this is prone to contamination. Each food type should have its own chopping board. Wash the surface immediately especially those in contact with raw food.

    4. Vegetables and fruits should be washed thoroughly under running water, making sure that the skin is clean using a vegetable brush. Bacteria can be transferred from the skin to the food when peeled or cut.

     5. Cook food thoroughly and completely to eradicate any bacteria present in it. Make use of a meat thermometer especially when grilling to ensure that the meat is thoroughly grilled.

     I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer and remember, an enjoyable summer is a healthy one. Stay safe!

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