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    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:

    • Avoid soft cheeses.
    • Cook foods until they are steaming hot.
    • Take care with foods from deli counters.

    WebMD Medical Reference

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