Preventing Foodborne Illnesses at Home

Tips and Guidelines for Preventing Foodborne Illnesses at Home

Spring must be a season for annual cleaning projects around homes. But when it comes to safely handling food, know that everything that comes in contact with it must always be kept all year long.

Food that has not been taken care of could lead to having a foodborne illness. While the US has almost the safest food supplies in the world and requires food servers and sellers to obtain a food handler certification, foodborne illness prevention remains a public health issue.

Handling food properly and food preparation are very important to avoid having foodborne illnesses. That said, this article will give you a better understanding and some useful tips for preventing foodborne illness. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Understanding Foodborne Illnesses

Foodborne illness, also known to many as “food poisoning.” Every year, 1 in 6 people get sick from too much eating of contaminated foods and drinking beverages that are contaminated. Food borne illnesses could also be from other triggering factors like bacteria, parasites, viruses, and toxins.

Many pathogens were acquired from beverages, food, and water. This illness could affect people who eat food that is contaminated. There are even groups like children, pregnant women, adults, and those people with chronic illnesses who likely gets sick from food contamination.

Important Things to Do so You Could be Protected from Food Poisoning

These are the procedures to follow so that you can prevent foodborne illnesses.

1. Clean

Cleanliness is among the major factors to prevent foodborne illnesses. Even with food safety, the role of consumers is to ensure that the food is safely handled after purchase. Everything that touches the food should always be clean. To prevent food borne illnesses at home, here’s everything to know:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds. Do it by scrubbing your hands’ back, under your nails, and between your fingers. This will prevent cross contamination, and you must ensure that you wash your hands every time you handle even raw meat.
  • Wash utensils and surfaces using soap and hot water after every use.
  • Fruits and vegetables should also be washed before peeling or cutting them.
  • You don’t have to wash the poultry or meat as it can cause the bacteria from your raw meat and poultry juices to drip or splash. And if it spreads, it could reach utensils, foods, and other surfaces.

2. Separate

To prevent cross-contamination, you need to separate. Chicken, raw meat, other poultry, eggs, and seafood can spread germs to your ready-to-eat food unless you separate them.

Regarding grocery shopping, you must keep poultry, raw meat, seafood, and juices away from other foods. You should also separate the marinating meat, eggs, and poultry seafood from other foods in the fridge. It should also be stored in sealed containers or just wrap them so the juices will not leak onto other foods you have.

The cutting board or plate for the raw meat, seafood, and poultry must be separated. Raw chicken that is ready to cook doesn’t need to be washed yet, because washing the food could spread germs to other foods like the sink and counter, and it could make you sick.

3. Cook

Next, you must be able to cook it to an appropriate temperature. Food also can be safely cooked when temperature inside gets really high enough to kill the germs that cause sickness. The only way is if the food is cooked safely. So, you gotta need to use a food thermometer.

The thing here is that you can’t really tell if the food is cooked safely if you only check the color and texture. The food thermometer will make sure that foods are cooked to a safe temperature. And if you are working in the food industry and obtained a food handler certification, then you must master placing the thermometer on the food.

4. Chill

You must refrigerate it promptly because bacteria can easily multiply if left at room temperature or in the “Danger Zone.” With that, you must keep your refrigerator at 40°F or under the freezer at 0°F or below.

You must know when to throw the food out before it spoils. If your refrigerator does not come with a built-in thermometer, you should keep the thermometer inside to easily monitor the temperature.

Hot or warm food should be packaged into several shallow, clean containers and refrigerated. It’s also fine to put small portions of food in the fridge so that they will chill faster.

Wrapping Up

Since bacteria are everywhere,being clean is indeed a major factor to prevent foodborne illness. If you practice on how to keep everything in your house clean when you come in contact with food, you can always be sure they are helping to do their part to maintain their food safe.