Proper handling and cooking of food is decisive to prevent food poisoning.

In this article we will teach you the precautions you should take to prevent food poisoning.

During the past year, over 2 million people were affected by several outbreaks of food poisoning that occurred in Nigeria.

The most common cause of these poisonings was the bacterium ” Salmonella”, whose risk factor is the consumption of raw or undercooked eggs. During the summer period, where temperatures are higher, the probability of getting intoxicated with this bacteria increases.

For this reason, it is necessary to take into account a series of precautions that will guarantee health and prevent the occurrence of possible food related poisoning.

Older adults and people with a weak immune system tend to suffer more problems due to the germs present in food.

However, this same means emphasizes that there are preventive measures that help promote the safety of food that the whole family ingests. Let’s see below the most important.

Cook food well

Most of the bacteria that cause infections or poisoning are poorly resistant to both heat and cold. Its ideal temperature range is quite short and usually resembles human body temperature.

Thus, a complete cooking of food is a great help tool when it comes to ending possible pathogenic bacteria. In certain foods, this heat treatment is carried out in the factory itself, as is the case with milk.

However, as far as meat or eggs are concerned, it is the mission of each consumer to ensure complete cooking before consumption. Leaving red meat inside implies a greater risk to health, especially if the method of preserving meat or fish before cooking was not entirely correct.

A very typical example is that of minced meat in hamburgers. Occasionally, this meat may have large amounts of E. coli bacteria inside. It is necessary that this meat reaches 71 °C inside to ensure its health.

The first step to prevent food poisoning is to cook food well. Thus, it is possible to eliminate many of the pathogens that cause problems.

Freeze fish

Other pathogenic organisms such as “Anisakis” are sensitive to cold. The freezing of fish prone to host these organisms, as is the case of hake, ensures their death. A subsequent complete cooking to destroy the possible larvae will entail a considerable risk reduction.

Defrost in the refrigerator
Thawing food at room temperature facilitates the reproduction of pathogenic organisms that may inhabit them, and hatching of the eggs. In this case, the most advisable thing is to resort to the refrigerator as an element that leads to the defrosting of the products. Another effective option may be to use the microwave for this function.

Keep raw foods separate from those cooked.

This will prevent possible cross contamination between food. It is important to separate meat from fish and shellfish, both during food storage and during pre-cooking processes.

Do not store open tomato sauces for more than 3 or 4 days.

A very common error and source of contamination by “botulism” is to leave the tomato sauces in the refrigerator for many days. These foods are a good breeding ground for the Clostridium Botilinum.

It is the bacterium that produces botulinum toxin (botox), which ingested produces a progressive paralysis of the body and organs that triggers multisystemic failure. This bacterium and its toxin are quite sensitive to heat; therefore, good cooking also reduces the risk of poisoning.

However, it is advisable to keep the tomato sauces in tightly closed jars (better under vacuum) and consume them within 3 or 4 days from the date of opening.

Tomato sauce is one of the food products that is easily contaminated. Therefore, it is important to give it a good storage.

When in doubt, throw it away
If you suspect that a food may be contaminated, has an unpleasant smell or a rancid taste, get rid of it. To prevent food poisoning, it is often enough to use common sense in the slightest doubt that a food may be contaminated, it is better to throw it away before lamenting its consequences.

Not only foods with bad taste, paint or smell are likely to be contaminated. Also those who look good may have pathogenic bacteria. Thus, if you doubt its conservation, or think that it could have been in contact with a contaminated food, it is better not to consume it.

Foods likely to be contaminated
Raw and undercooked beef and poultry

* Raw or undercooked fish or shellfish

* Raw or undercooked eggs

* Raw sprouts like alfalfa

* Unpasteurized milk and milk products

* Soft cheeses

* Pate and meat pasta

* Hot dogs, canned meat and cold cuts

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