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Prevent food poisoning at home with these simple tips

by , 13 November 2013

Justin Bieber left his fans disappointed in Buenos Aires this week. This after he walked off-stage mid-performance due to food poisoning. The star reportedly blamed a sick stomach and later posted a photo on Twitter showing himself receiving intravenous fluids. Proof that no one's immune to food poisoning but you can prevent it using these tips…

According to the Mayo Clinic, “food poisoning, also called food-borne illness, is caused by eating contaminated food. Infectious organisms, including various bacteria, viruses and parasites or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning.”

These infectious organisms or their toxins can contaminate food at any point during its processing or production.

Contamination can also happen in your own home if you don’t cook or handle food correctly.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent food poisoning.

Use these tips to avoid food poisoning at home

The site recommends you do the following to prevent food poisoning at home:

  • Wash your hands, utensils and food surfaces often. Wash your hands well with warm, soapy water before and after handling or preparing food. Use hot, soapy water to wash your utensils, cutting board and other surfaces you use.
  • Keep raw foods separate from ready-to-eat foods. When shopping, preparing food or storing food, keep raw meat, poultry, fish and shellfish away from other foods. This prevents cross-contamination.
  • Cook foods to a safe temperature. The medical site says the best way to tell if foods are cooked to a safe temperature is to use a food thermometer. You can kill harmful organisms in most foods by cooking them to the right temperature. You should cook ground beef to 71.1°C, cook your steaks and roasts to at least 62.8°C. Pork needs to be cooked to at least 71.1°C and chicken and turkey need to be cooked to 73.9°C. Fish is generally well-cooked at 62.8°C.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishable foods promptly. Refrigerate or freeze perishable foods within two hours of buying or preparing them. If the room temperature is above 32.2°C, refrigerate perishable foods within one hour.
  • Defrost food safely. Don’t thaw foods at room temperature. The safest way to thaw foods is to defrost foods in the refrigerator or to microwave the food using the ‘defrost’ or ‘50% power’ setting. Running cold water over the food also safely thaws the food.
  • Throw it out when in doubt. If you aren’t sure if the food has been prepared, served or stored safely, get rid of it. Food left at room temperature too long may contain bacteria or toxins that can’t be destroyed by cooking. Don’t taste food that you’re unsure about, just throw it out. Even if it looks and smells fine, it may not be safe to eat.

Food poisoning can be serious and potentially life-threatening. So use these tips to prevent it at home. And if, like Bieber you’re unlucky enough to get it, these other tips will help.


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