Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Food poisoning can have a drastically negative impact on one’s health and recovering from a bout of food poisoning is a tough road considering the traumatic symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. Extreme cases of food poisoning have also resulted in fatalities, which is why it is of paramount importance to avoid food poisoning at all times. Avoiding and preventing food poisoning is easy when one chooses to be aware of what goes into one’s mouth at all times. This includes taking certain awareness measures that are simple and make for great personal hygiene habits. Read further to know more about the top ways one can prevent food poisoning.

7 Ways To Prevent Food Poisoning

7 Ways To Prevent Food Poisoning

#1. Wash Hands to Prevent Food Poisoning

Cooking is a delicate process and often requires certain standards of hygiene to ensure healthy eating and to prevent food poisoning. One very simplistic way to avoid food poisoning is to wash one’s hands as and when needed during cooking. When using your hands to prepare food; be careful to wash your hands before and after cooking. Touching food with dirty hands is sure to make you and the people you cook for vulnerable to various forms of food poisoning without counting the multiple bacterial diseases that are transmitted through unwashed hands. Additionally; one must be sure to wash one’s hands before eating at all times to prevent food poisoning.

#2. Clean Utensils to Prevent Food Poisoning

Eating in clean utensils or transferring the cooked food to clean utensils is of paramount importance if you wish to prevent food poisoning. While your dishes may appear clean on the surface even after hanging on your utensil rack or lying in your cabinets for a while, dust and grime that are not visible to the naked eye are often present on the surface and can lead to mild, but inconvenient bouts of food poisoning.

#3. Washing Fruits & Vegetables to Prevent Food Poisoning

Washing fruits and vegetables before consumption is very important if you wish to prevent food poisoning. Fruits and vegetables often attract fungi and bacteria, which latch on to the surface along with insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers which are commonly used on large scale farms. Failure to wash fruits and vegetables before consumption can expose you to all these harmful agents and cause food poisoning.

#4. Identifying Expired or Rotting Food to Prevent Food Poisoning

Food starts to rot at a certain degree where it begins to emit a putrid stench; at which point we often put food items into the garbage. However, one must take care to identify the first signs of rot. Mild discoloration of your fruits and vegetables are great indicators of rot. A subtle white buildup on the surface of food is indicative of fungal growth. Packaged food is labeled with expiry dates, which make it easier to identify prepackaged foods that are not fit for consumption. Meat that has been refrigerated for multiple days is best avoided to prevent food poisoning.

#5. Proper Cooking is a Must to Prevent Food Poisoning

Meat and fish must be adequately cooked at appropriate temperatures to ensure that you aren’t exposing yourself or your family members to food poisoning. Meat and fish that has been insufficiently cooked are two of the leading culprits for food poisoning in the form of salmonella.

#6. Refrigerator Storage Tips to Prevent Food Poisoning

Simple measures such as the way you store food in your refrigerator can largely prevent food poisoning. Some of them methods, which you should follow while storing food in the refrigerator to prevent food poisoning are as listed below:

  • Washing fruits and vegetables before storing them in your refrigerator is always a good idea to prevent food poisoning.
  • Raw meats and fish are best stored in your freezer to prevent food poisoning.
  • Be sure to keep your refrigerator at temperatures below 5°C at all times to ensure that food poisoning is kept at bay.
  • Overfilling your refrigerator is a bad idea, as it prevents adequate circulation of cool air and affects preservation of food which leads to food poisoning.
  • While you cannot store hot meals in your refrigerator; be sure to cool all the food quickly before transferring them to your refrigerator. Do not let food lie around long after it has cooled as this can cause food poisoning.

#7. Kitchen Maintenance Tips to Prevent Food Poisoning

Certain measures that govern the way you clean and maintain your kitchen can largely prevent food poisoning. Some of them are as listed below.

  • Clean your kitchen counter thoroughly and as often as possible; ideally after every time you cook a meal. This helps a lot in prevention of food poisoning.
  • Keep the insides of your microwave clean at all times to prevent food poisoning.
  • Be sure to clean kitchen tools like mittens, egg beaters, rolling pins and chopping boards among others as often as possible, as using them unclean can easily become a leading cause of food poisoning.
  • Clean kitchen cabinets and storage units as often as possible to prevent food poisoning.
  • Avoid corrosive metal containers for spice and common kitchen ingredients storage and consequently prevent metal poisoning along with food poisoning.
  • Avoid kitchen cleaners with high chemical content and turn to natural cleaning methods like apple cider vinegar spray that can effectively clean work tops and cook tops without exposing you to harmful chemicals.
  • Keep wash cloths, dish cloths as clean as possible and replace them regularly.
  • Your old dishwashing sponge is a hub for bacteria and fungi and can transfer them onto the utensils you store food in or eat on. Replace them as regularly as possible to prevent food poisoning.

Conclusion

In conclusion; simple hygiene measures and awareness can drastically reduce cases of food poisoning. Additionally; while you may have a degree of control over home cooked food, check for reviews at restaurants and fast food joints to ensure that there are no indication of neglect of food safety standards, which are the main source of food poisoning.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 16, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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