Most of us have been there. The unfortunate feeling in your stomach making you run in search of the nearest bathroom. The cause was most likely a delicious meal the previous day, and now you are terribly regretting that meal as you are confined to your bathroom, sick as a dog.
There are simple steps you can take to decrease your risk of getting food poisoning, including:
- Don’t leave your food out
Food left out at room temperature for hours at a time – be it at home, or a doggy bag from the restaurant you just left, a family cookout, or even a restaurant buffet — room temperature food is a prime source of food poisoning. The spores and toxins released by bacteria commonly found on food can flourish at this temperature.
- Stay clear of raw poultry
Four out of five cases of food poisoning come from contaminated poultry. The best way to avoid food poisoning from chicken is to make avoid raw chicken. Make sure all chicken is cooked thoroughly you have good kitchen practices when cooking and handling chicken at home.
- Cook all Ground Meat well, before eating.
A steak is an intact piece of meat. Any contamination will be on the surface. Cooking a steak well on the outside therefore reduces your chances of infection, even if it remains rare inside. But ground meat is different. Ground meat, such as hamburger, ground turkey, etc. instead of the bacteria staying on the outside, harmful bacteria is mixed into the meat. This applies to any form of burger, be it gourmet slider, meat pie, or anything that uses ground meat. Make sure any ground meat is cooked thoroughly before eating and consider having your burgers always prepared in as well-done to avoid bacteria.
- Wash your fruit, veggies, and nuts!
A 2013 study by the CDC found that 46% of foodborne illnesses in the U.S are caused by fruits, vegetables and nuts. Leafy vegetables were found to cause the most illness, accounting for 22% of all cases in the study — aided by the fact that bacteria, like E. coli, can live within the leaf tissue itself. Always wash your fruit, veggies and nuts before eating.
- Reheat your leftovers properly
Bacteria can be found in leftovers, and unless heating them so they are piping hot, you may be at risk. For example, rice. Rice contain bacteria that are found in the rice patty fields. The bacteria are killed when the rice is cooked, but their spores stay alive and flourish if then left out at room temperature. If you eat rice without fully heating it, you could be at risk of that bacteria the second time around. Make sure to heat your leftovers until they steam.
More questions about food poisoning? Ask your doctor for advice on how to keep you and your family out of risk.
Tags: avoid food poisoning, dont get sick, family medicine, food poisoning, food preperation, food sick, food sickness, good kitchen habits, stomach health