Worried About Contaminated Food? Here’s How to Keep Your Food Safe

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(Last Updated On: September 27, 2017)

Contaminated food or beverage is one of the most common cause of illness. 

How does food get contaminated?

Stages where food can get contaminated are

During production and processing

  • When fruits and vegetables are washed/irrigated in contaminated water
  • During slaughter, meat and poultry become contaminated with small amounts of intestinal contents which contain harmful bacteria

Preparation and handling

  • Food handler is infected
  • Cross contamination due to mixing of raw and cooked food, not washing cooking equipment adequately

Inadequate cooking temperature

Improper storage 

Simple rules to ensure that your food is safe

Clean

  • Wash hands often and always before handling or eating food and after using the toilet
  • Wash all equipment and surfaces like knives, cutting boards and counter tops
  • Protect cooking area from insects, animals and pests
  • Use clean dry utensils, spoons and containers 

Separate

  • Separate raw and cooked food. Do not cross contaminate
  • Meat, poultry, sea food to be kept separate from other foods
  • Use separate cutting boards for meat, poultry, fish and fresh vegetables 

Cook

  • Cook food to proper temperature and keep hot foods hot
  • Ensure food is thoroughly cooked
  • Have it when it is piping hot 

Safe temperature

  • Food should be kept at safe temperature
  • 5-600C is the danger zone
  • Germs multiply quickly at room temperatures
  • Avoid foods that are not kept hot or refrigerated
  • Cooked food should not be left at room temperature for >2 hours
  • Chill foods quickly to safe temperatures and keep cold foods cold until they are eaten
  • Defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator or in the microwave. Use thawed food immediately 

Safe water and raw materials

  • Use safe water and raw materials
  • Wash fruits and vegetables well
  • Peel all fruits and vegetables if eaten raw
  • Wash cereals and pulses thoroughly before use
  • Check ‘Best before’ dates before buying packed products
  • Avoid buying spices and masalas without proper packaging
  • Read labels on food to look for allergens

Follow these tips and ensure food safety for yourself and your family!

Related Reading: Health Food and Habit for Strong Bones

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