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Thursday, September 03, 2015

6 Tips How To Avoid Food Poisoning

The news about food poisoning specially of school kids who bought foods from canteen and food vendors are growing in number. Here are just some:
July 10- durian candy poisoning  that has been tested to be contaminated with staphylococcus aureus. 
July 10- Students were poisoned after eating Siopao from the canteen.  
July 15- Food poisoning in Sultan Kudarat after eating Pastil
July 16- High school students from Quezon City suffered poisoning after eating macapuno candies
July 24- Students were poisoned after eating iced candy and cakes. 

In Buraida, Saudi Arabia 22 students had been food poisoned after eating egg sandwiches contaminated with salmonella.

Although the contamination are found to be of different strains of bacteria, there is something common when the cases happened. 

A rise in temperature gives higher risk of food contamination, specially hot and humid weather condition. This gives a perfect breeding ground for bacteria that spoil food and make people sick. 

Bacteria breeds fast on foods that are protein rich, like  meat (siopao), poultry and dairy products like milk, butter and eggs, and also protein rich vegetables like beans and also grains like rice. 

One of the ways we could prevent food contamination is by cooking and handling goods properly. 

Here are 6 tips to avoid food poisoning:

Clean and wash hands thoroughly. It is always  a good practice to wash hands after using the bathroom, holding your pet, specially before preparing food, and after preparing or touching raw meat. 


 Sanitize utensils and avoid cross contamination. This is specially true when using the chopping board. Raw meat usually contains bacteria like salmonella, but if you use the same knife to cut the meat for cutting your vegetables even when you washed it with water, there is still chance that salmonella could contaminate the vegetable. Use separate chopping board, plate, or knife when preparing foods. And sanitize well the utensils specially those used for meat or fish. 

Cook the food well to kill bacteria that could cause food illness. Meat like chicken, beef, lamb, veal etch should be cooked well. The minimum internal temperature to make sure it is safe should at least be 75 deg. C or 167 F. Warming the food does not necessarily mean it would be safe, bacteria likes warm environment and it is their perfect breeding ground. 

When transporting food, it is better to put the food in an insulated container with ice packs. Avoid exposing food on high temperatures or from the heat of the sun. Food has higher chance of spoiling or getting contaminated if the outside temperature is more than 32 deg C or 90 deg F. Keep foods or food containers away from direct sunlight.

Don't let your food sit too long. Store the foods inside the fridge, and if it has been there too long and unsure if it is safe, it is better to throw them away rather than putting yourself at risk of food poisoning. 

Insects could carry bacteria that could contaminate food. Make sure that foods are covered to avoid flies, ants, roaches and other insects or pests from having access and contaminating our foods.  

Content adopted from: Fox News