Sunday, March 3, 2013

How to Avoid Food Poisoning

How to Avoid Food Poisoning

You are feeling awful with vomiting, cramps and have been visiting the toilet every 10 minutes for the last two hours. Does this sound familiar? The chances are that all of us have experienced some form of food poisoning at some time.



There are different types of food poisoning, with symptoms ranging from simple nausea to potential death. It all depends upon what food is involved, and how that food was handled before you ate it. The effect of food poisoning is also dependent upon the individual – the aged, young or those that are immune depressed are all more likely to suffer badly.



If you think that you have food poisoning, see your Doctor, as it may need to be reported to the appropriate government authority. It is really important that food poisonings are reported as it is the only way available to track outbreaks and numbers of occurrences. You will never always be able to avoid food poisoning, however by following a few simple techniques you can minimise the likelihood of you becoming ill;



- Always keep food outside the temperature range of 5˚C and 60˚C – this is the favored temperature range for food poisoning bacteria. For hot food make sure it is heated / cooked to more than 60˚C and for cold food store at less than 4˚C at all times.



- Thaw food, particularly meats, in the fridge not on the bench or sink.



- Always wash your hands properly prior to handling food, and especially after; patting the dog, blowing your nose, visiting the toilet, smoking or eating, changing the baby.



- Store raw meat in a covered container at the bottom of your fridge to keep it from dripping onto other food.



- Always thoroughly wash utensils and containers that have been used on raw food prior to using them on cooked product.



Rachelle Williams is committed to helping food businesses be better businesses. She is a food technologist, fellow of the Australian Organization for Quality and member of both the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology, and Food Safety Information Council. Rachelle has appeared on “What’s Good for You” and “Brisbane Extra” and has written many food safety and business eBooks. Contact her on anyi@howsafeisyourfood.com.au to request your free eBook “How safe is food in Australia”, and to subscribe to her free eNewsletter, ”Food Safety for Small Businesses”.

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