Summer time, the perfect time for BBQs and gatherings. It is also the season that is mostly associated with food poisoning as warm temperatures favor the growth of harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites on the food we eat. Common symptoms of food poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever.
It is essential to keep food refrigerated at all times particularly raw foods such as eggs, fish in sushi rolls, unpasteurized milk, cheese, uncooked hotdogs, as well as all foods prepared with raw ingredients without cooking.
Here are some tips to handle food safely and reduce the risk of food poisoning at home:
- Wash your hands well with warm water and soap:
- Before and after handling food
- Changing diapers
- Going to toilet
- Blowing your nose
- Touching animals
- Touching the bin
- Touching door handles
- Avoid hands shaking
- Wash worktops (cutting boards, dishes, countertops, etc.) well before and after using them, particularly when handling raw meats.
- Wash dishcloths regularly as damp and dirty cloths are the perfect place for germs to grow.
- Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from cooked ones as when mixed this might cause cross contamination.
- Cook food thoroughly.
- Refrigerate foods quickly particularly leftovers as cold temperatures keep harmful bacteria from growing.
- Do not defrost meats at room temperature, always thaw in the refrigerator, or under cold running water, or in the microwave.
- Don’t overpack the refrigerator to allow the proper circulation of air and keep food safe.