Some people don’t take food poisoning very seriously. Maybe that’s because the symptoms usually are not long-lasting in most healthy people—a few hours or a few days—and usually go away without medical treatment. But foodborne illness can be severe, even life-threatening to anyone, especially those most at risk such as older adults, infants and young children, pregnant women, and people with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or any condition that weakens their immune systems.

Threats to food safety constantly evolve. New disease-causing organisms emerge and known pathogens become more virulent. In addition, consumers increasingly want food that is less processed.  Even though government food safety regulators received important new tools to help protect us in the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, it’s clear that individuals need to take every practical step they can to prevent foodborne illness.

Since it’s traditional at the start of a new year to think about what needs to be changed in one’s life to make it happier and healthier, here are a few suggestions for resolutions to help eliminate foodborne illness from your and your families’ lives.

Clean: Resolve to wash your hands before, during and after handling food. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), handwashing has the potential to save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention. To do it effectively, wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap. Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well for at least 20 seconds. Air dry or use a clean paper towel.

Separate: If you only have one cutting board, resolve to get another to help avoid cross-contamination. Use one for foods that will be cooked, such as meat, poultry, and seafood, and the other for foods like fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw. That way the raw foods won’t be contaminated by the juices from the ones to be cooked.  If you do get a new cutting board, get one that’s dishwasher-safe.  The very hot water and strong detergent typically used in dishwashers can eliminate a lot of bacteria.

Cook: Resolve to get a food thermometer, if you don’t have one.  Only a food thermometer can make sure meat, poultry, fish, and casseroles are cooked to a safe internal temperature—hot enough to kill any pathogens that may be present.

Chill: Similarly, resolve to get an appliance thermometer to  be sure your refrigerator is at or below 40ºF. Between 40ºF and 140ºF is the Danger Zone when bacteria multiply rapidly. The more bacteria, the more likely someone will get sick.  Most refrigerators have just a colder/warmer adjustment, so the only way to know the temperature is to put a thermometer inside.

 

 

For more information, check out these resources:

Long-Term Effects of Food Poisoning

Don’t Cross-Contaminate

Making Food Safer to Eat

 

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Comments

Great post and yes, you've got to be so careful when storing and preparing food... especially if it's for someone else! However, once you've realised the need for caution, it all tends to become a matter of common sense in the final analysis.

Regards,

Elaine

I agree with Maria Turner, but i have opinion from this article Natural is a turn associated with a number of fruit and vegetable product. Typically, this is simple a marketing ploy to convince you to buy the product. After all, all fruits and vegetables are natural, right? Unless it’s a new kind of food that has been developed and processed, the product is natural. What you really probably want is organic. Organic foods are grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers. There are two main benefits to organic foods. First, you are helping the environment because those chemicals are not being introduced into nature. Secondly, you are avoiding ingesting chemicals and are therefore healthy more healthy foods. However, organic products are usually more expensive. If you’re on a budget, skip over organic fruits and vegetables that you can peel, like oranges and bananas. After all, once you’ve discarded the peel, you’ve also discarded the chemicals. Instead, opt for organic items like apples, where you eat the peel. No matter what you buy, however, make sure that you rinse off the food when you get home.

Hi, good information and these are things that many don't think about until it's too late. Yes, keep that refrigerator below 40 and if you have a refrigerator problem where it does get warm for a significant period of time, then throw the food away. I see some of my customers who's refrigerators have started warming and I ALWAYS tell them to throw the food away. It's best not to take chances.

Especially in Asian countries it is very important to make sure the restaurant owners take food safety serious. Power cuts leave fridges and freezers without the necessary electricity to operate properly and only serious restaurants (mostly owned by Europeans) have a power back up in the form of a generator.

Its always good to be aware of the type of foods that we are eating. But it is even better, if it is safe and clean. Junk foods would affect us if we have too much intake, but a little less intake of contaminated food could take us down within 24 hours. The blog was very helpful, hope more people will become aware of... thanks!

Now a days, most of the people use hand sanitizers rather than washing their hands. This is pretty basic thing. I don't understand why modernization is taking us away from few basic things.

Thanks for the article. It provides good insight to our day to day life.

Oh, thanks for posting this. I've remembered my poisoning with food. It was terrible now I try to pay attention to every aspect of buying and cooking healthy food.

Proper hygiene is important in food preparation. Without washing hands and kitchen tools, disease would easily spread out. In some places though, this crucial matter is not always known and is taken lightly. Following the tips above can surely prevent this and make a difference.

The proper refrigerator compartment temperature on almost all brands and models is 37-38 degrees.

Most refrigerators rely upon the cold air from the freezer compartment being blown through a vent to cool the fridge side. Be sure not to block the vent area with any items, as this will cause a restriction and may warm up the refrigerator temperature.

Good point about using a new paper towel or air drying your hands. Some people keep a dish towel in their kitchen and use the same one for several days to wipe down countertops and even the floor and also use it to dry their hands! Dish sponges also tend to harbor a lot of bacteria. You could go crazy thinking about all the places bacteria can lurk in a kitchen!

Its always good to be aware of the type of foods that we are eating. But it is even better, if it is safe and clean. Junk foods would affect us if we have too much intake, but a little less intake of contaminated food could take us down within 24 hours. The blog was very helpful, hope more people will become aware of… thanks!

You created a very wonderful article there, very informative and easy to understand.

I am very much pleased with the contents mentioned about health. I wanted to thank for this great article. I enjoyed every little bit part of it and I will be waiting for the new updates.

Most refrigerators rely upon the cold air from the freezer compartment being blown through a vent to cool the fridge side. Be sure not to block the vent area with any items, as this will cause a restriction and may warm up the refrigerator temperature.

A very nice Article. Here in UAE, Its mandatory for all food handlers to follow the basic food Safety course.

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