Understanding Food Poisoning -- Prevention
How Can I Prevent Food Poisoning?
Here are some tips to prevent food poisoning:
- Always wash hands before preparing any food; wash utensils with hot soapy water after using them to prepare any meat or fish.
- Don't thaw frozen meat at room temperature. Let meat thaw gradually in a refrigerator, or thaw it quickly in a microwave oven and cook immediately.
- Avoid uncooked marinated food and raw meat, fish, or eggs; cook all such food thoroughly.
- Check expiration dates on all foods.
- In restaurants, return any undercooked meat or egg products for further cooking. Ask for a new plate.
- Don't eat any food that looks or smells spoiled, or any food from bulging cans or cracked jars.
- Set your refrigerator to 40 degrees or below; never eat any prepared foods that have been out of a refrigerator more than two hours.
- Keep juices or drippings from raw meat, poultry, shellfish, or eggs from contaminating other foods.
- Carefully select and prepare fish and shellfish to ensure quality and freshness.
- Keep separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, and fish and another for produce.
- Avoid raw (unpasteurized) milk or foods made from raw milk.
- Wash raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating.
- Drink only pasteurized juice or cider.
- Be aware of proper home-canning procedures.
- If you are ill with diarrhea or vomiting, do not prepare food for others.
- Wash hands with soap after handling pets or cleaning up after animals.
- Mother's milk is the safest food for young infants. Breastfeeding prevents many food-borne illnesses and other health problems.
- Do not feed honey to infants less than 1 year of age.
Those at high risk, such as pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, infants, and the elderly should also:
Understanding Food Poisoning
- Avoid soft cheeses.
- Cook foods until they are steaming hot.
- Take care with foods from deli counters.