All Women's Talk

7 Ways to Prevent Food Poisoning ...

By Jennifer

It’s summer, the time of year when more people go to the emergency room with symptoms of food poisoning. What a horrible way to end a barbeque or day at the beach, especially when most times, food poisoning can be prevented. Here’s my list of 7 ways to prevent food poisoning… read on!

1 Refrigerate!

Refrigerate! Photo Credit: laurenlemon

It’s important to keep anything with perishable ingredients in the fridge, but it’s also important to know when it’s time to put the hot leftovers away, too! Anything cold with mayonnaise or butter or other dairy needs to be well chilled constantly. And hot dishes need to cool to room temperature before they’re put in the fridge… and always, always, if you’re not sure the food’s been properly chilled, throw it away!

2 Cook It through

Cook It through Photo Credit: Betty Crocker Recipes

It may be tempting to enjoy that hamburger or steak with a little pink in the middle, but resist the urge to go rare and cook your meat all the way through. Cooking meat through will kill most nasty food-borne bacteria, so always make sure all of your meat, including chicken, fish, and pork, is cooked through!

3 Wash Your Hands

Wash Your Hands Photo Credit: Blue dreams

Before preparing or eating any food, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly. We don’t think our hands are dirty, but they are… just think of how many things you touch every day… at the gym, at the grocery store… ick! Wash! Maybe wash twice!

4 Keep Counters and Utensils Clean

Keep Counters and Utensils Clean Photo Credit: birchbarksoap

Along with keeping your hands clean, it’s important to keep your countertops, knives, cutting boards, and everything else pristine. Wash everything thoroughly before you use it, even if it was washed before it was put away the last time you used it.

5 Look (and Sniff!) Carefully

Look (and Sniff!) Carefully Photo Credit: laurenlemon

If you’re preparing, cooking, or eating something that doesn’t look or smell quite right, don’t take a chance — throw it away! We humans are programmed by genetic evolution to be able to tell by scent, taste, and sight food that’s good from food that’s bad, so trust your senses!

6 Rinse Well

Rinse Well Photo Credit: Wonder Mom Of Three

Most of us think of hamburgers and potato salad when we hear “food poisoning,” but more and more we’re hearing of E. Coli and other nasty bacteria in our fruits and veggies. It’s important to thoroughly wash any produce before you prepare, cook, or eat it… strawberries, leafy green, broccoli, everything.

7 Be Aware of Recalls

Be Aware of Recalls Photo Credit: Wonder Mom Of Three

Unfortunately, most food poisoning incidents aren’t reported, because most of the time, we don’t even know that’s why we’re feeling so poorly. But when a rash of cases are reported, especially if the cases are serious, there might be a food recall involved. If there is a recall, you might not hear about it on the news, but no worries — you can check the USDA website, or download a free mobile recall app from the USDA here!

Now that you know these tips for preventing food poisoning, you’ll know when it’s safe to eat Aunt Susie’s potato salad, and when it’s time to pitch it. And hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with the wretchedness of food poisoning again! Do you have any other tips to share? Please let me know… thanks!

Top Photo Credit: Netfalls

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