Choosing to eat healthy is a great, but how you prepare the food is just as important. Taking the proper steps to prevent food contamination is very important especially when cooking a large meal. Food contamination is when harmful chemicals and microorganisms are incorporated into food for human consumption. The most common causes of food contamination are not washing your hands, cross contamination, improper food storage and cooking practices, and contamination by animal waste.
Every year 1 in 6 Americans get food poisoning
It’s very important to be weary of how to prevent illness so you won’t make yourself or your guests or family sick. About 46 percent of food borne illness is caused by 31 known pathogens like salmonella, staph, and E. coli. The 56 percent of food borne illness is caused by unknown pathogens that don’t have a specific cure. On average 50 million people are affected by food contamination every year.
The first way to prevent food contamination is to wash your hands before you handle food. To correctly wash your hands, wet your hands with warm water and lather them with anti bacterial soap. Next rinse your hands with warm water, before you rinse you should wash for at least 20 seconds. In some cases using hand sanitizer is not a successful as washing your hands.
Each year 128,000 people are hospitalized and 3,000 die of food borne illness every year.
Another way to prevent food contamination is to prevent cross contamination. Cross contamination is when the bacteria from one food product comes in contact with another food product. The most infectious form of cross contamination is from meat products like chicken, pork, and fish. When shopping for groceries keep meat, poultry, and seafood separate from the rest of your groceries. In your refrigerator do the same, keeping meat in a drawer. Make sure you thoroughly sanitize cutting boards and don’t use the same utensil to serve multiple foods.
Fruits and vegetables can also cause food borne illness. It is very important to clean them twice to make sure they are clean and have no contaminates. Fruits and vegetables without a rind or peel need to be washed three times.
Bottom Line: Food borne illness is very dangerous
Clean your kitchen, clean your meats, and clean your fruits and vegetables. Also buy extra utensils so you won’t use the same one to serve multiple dishes.