How to Avoid Food Poisoning

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Food poisoning is nasty and while it usually passes in a few days, it can lead to serious health problems such as dehydration. It can be painful and it is certainly unpleasant.

Symptoms

  • Feeling of Nausea
  • Vomitting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Painful Stomach Pain
  • Fever

One or more of the symptoms may occur. The most common are vomitting, diarrohea and stomach cramps. Most cases of food poisoning do not require medical attention, however, if symptoms persist for longer than five days, seek medical attention.

Food Storage

Food storage is important. Never store uncooked meats above cooked meats, ensure the fridge temperature is cool enough and is constant at all times. Do not place hot food in the fridge as this will bring down the fridge temperature and keep the fridge door is closed properly. If you are freezing food, do so on the day of purchase and ensure like foods are stored together.

Food Hygiene and Preparation

Absolutely vital to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and all food contains bacteria. Food hygiene is imperative and it is easy to maintain. Wash all fruit and vegetables before use and never, ever use the same knife or chopping board for cooked and uncooked meats. Rice is one of the most common culprits for a dodgy stomach and the runs, so ensure that any rice that is left over is either thrown away or cooled and stored in the fridge immediately. Wash your hands at regular intervals while preparing food and always check that food is cooked thoroughly before serving.

The Difference between Sell By and Use By Dates

Sell by dates are used for shelf life purposes which means the shop selling the products have to place a date on the items to ensure freshness, there is no legal obligation for grocers to stick to this, yet often, shops will reduce items when they have reached their sell by date. The exception to this rule is eggs. It is illegal to sell eggs after their sell by date. Use by dates are for perishable products such as meat, fish and dairy products, i.e products that if eaten after the use by date could cause food poisoning.

Do Your Shopping Wisely

Don’t over shop, as this runs the risk of using food that is past its best and can lead to illness. Not only that, an over stocked fridge can reduce the temperature causing food to go off. Sell by dates are used for a reason and they should be adhered to. Tinned and dried foods are not so much of a problem and are handy items to have in your larder. End of day reductions are great bargains but ensure they are used by the date specified and never buy dented tinned food. While tins are pretty durable, a dented tin of food, can have been punctured therefore allowing all sorts of bacteria and extras that aren’t supposed to be in there.

Learn about Food Storage, Hygiene and Preparation

There are courses such as Food Hygiene Courses, which are available from City and Guilds and can be completed in a couple of days. Not only do these courses cover food, it covers hygiene throughout the kitchen from washing the dishes, to use of tea-towels and dish clothes and is useful for a busy home kitchen. These courses can be completed online too or are classroom based.

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