Food poisoning can occur as a result of poor hygiene as food gets contaminated with disease causing bacteria. Food poisoning can cause mild to serious symptoms which include abdominal ache, vomiting and diarrhoea. Contaminated food cannot be discerned by smelling them or looking at them. Thus, food handlers have to observe basic hygiene rules to ensure that the people who eat their food, don’t end up the worse for it. Here are our five top tips to keep the bacteria itching to get into your food at bay:
• Scrub your hands thoroughly before you start preparing or cooking food. It also goes without saying that hands should be washed before eating.
• Food preparation should start before the actual cooking. Work surfaces, utensils, equipment and other things to be used for cooking should be cleaned.
• All foods that are eaten raw should be washed thoroughly. Soaking vegetables in water with a few drops of ‘food safe’ antiseptic and rinsing off before cutting helps to get rid of germs. Otherwise, some of these vegetables can also be washed with salt under running water.
• Use different chopping boards for raw meat produce and other foods like vegetables. This prevents cross-contamination of foods.
• Those instructions on your refrigerator that tell you what temperatures that food should be stored at? Pay some attention to them and store food at the right temperature. If you cook in bulk and then scoop some out everyday or some days to re-heat, use small bowls to store the amount that you would usually use. This ensures that the food is not continually thawing and re-freezing providing an opportunity for germs to thrive. Remember to thaw frozen foods in the fridge (not at room temperature) and make sure you heat food all the way through when re-heating food.
Food hygiene is so critical to our health as food preparation and eating are activities that happen several times every day. Be sure to follow these tips and keep healthy.
Here’s to a healthier you!