If you’ve ever been unlucky enough to suffer a bout of food poisoning, you know that you want to do all you can to prevent repeating the incident. When preparing food at home there’s a risk of cross-contamination that could result in serious reactions and illness for your whole family. There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of eating contaminated food, including:
Separate foods that are raw and foods that are ready to eat. We’re talking a wide, spacious separation. If you have more than one available counter in your kitchen, and are preparing a meal that contains both raw and ready-to-eat components keep them on separate surfaces. This includes times other than preparation as well. When shopping don’t place raw meats on top of poultry in a shopping cart. Try to always keep some space between raw foods that could possess harmful bacteria, and foods that won’t undergo any preparation before eating. Remember what you touch after you touch raw foods. Are you handling the raw chicken and then heading across the kitchen to dice an onion? There should be a necessary hand washing stop in between!
Wash hands, utensils and surfaces. We don’t mean maniacally. Preparing a meal should only require one or two “wipe downs.” Make sure you start cooking with clean hands, clean dishes and clean foods. After you’ve put raw foods into cook, return them to this state.
Cook foods thoroughly. Not everything need be slightly burnt, but learn how different meats need to be cooked. Chicken, for instance, is said to be safe to eat after having been brought to 165 degrees. This is obviously not the same for steak. If you like certain meats, like steak, a little rarer be sure to research what is a minimum temperature to kill bacteria. Use an internal thermometer to be sure.
Refrigerate foods that are perishable. Don’t leave leftover dinner out for longer than two hours before putting it away. If it’s summer, or your house is running a little warm, it should be done within the hour.
Some people are inherently more at risk for suffering food poisoning than others. A lot has to do with the strength and vitality of your immune system at the time of becoming ill.
Pregnant women often become much more sick than others. This is due to changes in their circulation and metabolism. Check in with your doctor to be sure that everything is all right. Rarely does the sickness affect the baby.
The very old and very young are also more at risk for experiencing severe food poisoning. This is because their immune systems aren’t usually as strong or capable of fending off bacteria.
At least at your home you can play an active part in preventing food poisoning. When you go to a restaurant on the other hand, you expect the kitchen staff to supply you with uncontaminated food that is safe for digestion. If you or a loved one has become ill because of the negligence of another please contact a Dallas food poisoning attorney at the Law Offices of W.T. Johnson and get the representation you need.