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10 Ways to Avoid Food Poisoning

One of the most common reported cases in the world is food poisoning. It is an unkind and disastrous feeling that most people experience. It can even lead to serious illness and eventually death if not treated immediately and properly. There have been several cases of deaths related to foodborne illnesses recorded. It can affect anyone but children, elderly, pregnant women and people with weak immune system and the most vulnerable ones. However, it is one situation that can be prevented once appropriate measures are taken.

Taking these simple steps of prevention will help keep you and your loved ones from the ill-fating food poisoning situation:

1. Keeping your hands regularly clean
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water especially before, during and after food preparation. If water and soap are not available within your area, use antibacterial wipes, gel or solution to keep it clean. This should also be done after touching raw foods such as meat and vegetables, when going to the bathroom, changing baby diapers, handling soil and dirty objects, petting animals and other possible source of contamination activities.

2. Keeping utensils, dishcloths, and food surfaces clean
Aside from keeping your hands clean, make sure those utensils and other food surfaces are also clean. Use hot and soapy water in washing utensils, cutting boards, and other surfaces that are often in contact with food. Dishcloths and tea towels should also be washed regularly and let them stay dry before using them again. Germs and bacteria are most likely to breed in dirty and damp cloths.   Adopt colour coding practices in respect of cleaning cloths; what is used with food and utensils should not be used on the floor, or worse, in bathrooms and toiles.  

3. Keep the fridge clean and at right temperature
Frozen foods are susceptible to bacterial growth if they are not kept in cold temperature. Make sure that coldest part of the fridge is set between 0 and 4 degrees Celsius and the doors are always sealed and airtight. If food spoils inside the fridge, clean them up instantly with proper cleaning detergents. Make a habit of fully cleaning the fridge at least once a year or as often as necessary.

4. Avoid raw foods
Raw foods especially meat are the most common source of food poisoning. It was found out in a particular study that most raw chickens carry group of bacteria that causes majority of foodborne diseases. Unpasteurized dairy products are also not recommended especially for children, pregnant women and other individuals with weak immune system.

5. Cook food thoroughly
The safest way to kill bacteria in the raw food is by cooking them thoroughly. Use food thermometer in making sure that food is completely cooked and has them steaming hot all the way.

6. Handle and store food properly
Food contamination and bacterial growth can easily happen during handling and storing of foods. Separate raw foods from cooked ones. Store the raw at the bottom of the fridge so that their juices, in case of spilling will not contaminate other food items. Cooked foods should be cooled first before they are stored inside the fridge. When you store hot food inside the fridge, tendency is the temperature will rise making other food items become prone to bacterial growth and spreading. Cover food with lids, plastic or foil wraps.

7. Defrost appropriately
Defrosting is an important activity and should not be taken for granted. You should not speed up the process risking your food along the way. You should defrost in the refrigerator or by using the defrost setting in the microwave. Never defrost at room temperature and once they are completely thawed, do not refreeze them without cooking them first.
8. Do not take for granted use-by dates
Foods must be consumed immediately or within their use-by dates. Spices and dried herbs lose their flavors and beneficial properties if they are used beyond their dates or when kept too long. Do not eat grocery food items that are presented in packaging with broken seal or dented tins.

9 Pay attention to warning signs when eating out
Another usual source of food poisoning is through eating out at restaurants and other food institutions outside your homes. There are establishments that fail to keep up with basic food safety handling and hygiene standards. It is important to be vigilant about the safety of your food outside the comfort of your home because it is not within your control. Check the premises and make sure that bathrooms, parking lots and the rest of the place are clean and hygienic. Make sure that hot foods are served hot and not merely lukewarm especially in buffets. Watch out for salad dressings especially those with raw eggs in them. Send back undercooked meat and egg dish if you happened to be served with one and ask the staff to cook them thoroughly. Also, smell the food being served. If they are not pleasant to the nose, send them back, too.

10. Trust your instincts
If your senses tell you that there is something wrong with the food, leave it. Do not take risks. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Food poisoning can happen anywhere. It is best that preventions are made in priority than costly dealing with cure. For homeowners, make sure to create a safe and clean abode for your loved ones.

For business proprietors, make sure that your establishment is not merely there to earn profit but to provide your customers with satisfactory and safe services. If you cannot trust your staff to do the standards in sanitation, invest in refrigeration services and hygienic products that will guarantee you and your clients the best performance. 
At EnviroChill we provide affordable, state of the art pathogen control products to improve #FoodSafety and reduce #FoodWaste.  We also provide 24/7 peace of mind with wireless temperature monitoring systems that reduce your paperwork and even alert you immediately that there is a temperature issue to reduce your risk of stock loss. 

Call Trinity on 0415 168 729 today to find out how we can give you greater food safety and peace of mind.