Don’t Make Yourself Sick – Food Safety Facts
Have you ever had diarrhea or vomiting or an upset stomach and wondered, “Was it something I ate?” Each year, about 1 in every 6 Americans will get sick from a foodborne illness or “food poisoning.” If you are a healthy adult, your symptoms may not have been very severe. But it’s important to know that even if you are healthy, a bout of foodborne illness can result in long-term health problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and reactive arthritis.
For women who are pregnant and those with a vulnerable immune system, a foodborne illness can be life threatening.
Handling food safely in your own home can reduce your risk of foodborne illness. Here are some things all of us should do regularly:
· Clean - Wash your hands before preparing food or eating. Teach your children to do this as well.
· Cross-contamination - Don’t use the same cutting board for raw foods and cooked foods. If you put raw meat, poultry or seafood on a plate, don’t reuse that plate for those items once you’ve cooked them.
· Cook - Cook foods to the proper temperature.
· Chill foods - Refrigerate your foods after cooking. Perishable foods shouldn’t sit out for more than 2 hours.
· Wash produce before cutting into it to avoid introducing bacteria or pathogens from the skin into the fruit or vegetable. This includes melons and avocados.
· Wash off the top of your canned foods before opening to avoid introducing bacteria or pathogens into the canned product.
Sources: 1-888-SAFEFOOD US FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, www.fda.gov/educationsresourcelibrary. https://cspinet.org/tip/single-bout-food-poisoning-can-have-long-lasting-consequences