Pre­vail­ing in­ci­dences of food...

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From Page B3 It can also oc­cur if raw meat is stored above ready-to-eat foods and juices in the fridge.

Drink­ing wa­ter which has not been prop­erly treated ( this is a prob­lem in less de­vel­oped coun­tries).

Here are some tips to help you re­duce your risk of food poi­son­ing at home.

Wash your hands

Wash your hands thor­oughly with soap and wa­ter (warm or cold) and dry them be­fore han­dling food, af­ter han­dling raw food – in­clud­ing meat, fish, eggs and vegeta­bles – and af­ter touch­ing the bin, go­ing to the toi­let, blow­ing your nose or touch­ing an­i­mals (in­clud­ing pets). See more hand wash­ing tips.

Wash/Clean work­tops

Wash work­tops be­fore and af­ter pre­par­ing food, par­tic­u­larly af­ter they’ve been touched by raw meat (in­clud­ing poul­try), raw eggs, fish and vegeta­bles. You don’t need to use an­tibac­te­rial sprays: hot, soapy wa­ter is fine.

Wash dish­cloths

Wash dish­cloths and tea tow­els reg­u­larly, and let them dry be­fore you use them again. Dirty, damp cloths are the per­fect place for germs to spread.Use a sep­a­rate chop­ping board to pre­pare raw food, such as meat and fish. This is to avoid con­tam­i­nat­ing ready- to- eat foods with harm­ful bac­te­ria that can be present in raw food be­fore it has been cooked.

Keep raw meat sep­a­rate

It’s es­pe­cially im­por­tant to keep raw meat away from readyto-eat foods, such as salad, fruit and bread. This is be­cause these foods won’t be cooked be­fore you eat them, so any bac­te­ria that get onto the foods from the raw meat won’t be killed.

Store raw meat on the bot­tom shelf

Al­ways cover raw meat and store it on the bot­tom shelf of the fridge, where it can’t touch or drip onto other foods.

Cook food thor­oughly

Make sure poul­try, pork, burg­ers, sausages and ke­babs are cooked unt i l steam­ing hot, with no pink meat inside. Don’t wash raw meat ( in­clud­ing chicken and t urkey) be­fore cook­ing, as this can spread bac­te­ria around your kitchen. Freez­ing raw chicken re­duces the l evels of campy­lobac­ter bac­te­ria but doesn’t elim­i­nate them com­pletely. The safest way to kill all traces of campy­lobac­ter is by cook­ing chicken thor­oughly.

Keep your fridge be­low 5C

Keep your fridge tem­per­a­ture be­low 5C and use a f ri dge ther­mome­ter to check it. This pre­vents harm­ful germs from grow­ing and mul­ti­ply­ing.

Avoid over­fill­ing your fridge – if it’s too full, air can’t cir­cu­late prop­erly, which can af­fect the over­all tem­per­a­ture. Cool left­overs quickly If you have cooked food that you’re not go­ing to eat straight away, cool it as quickly as pos­si­ble (within 90 min­utes) and store it in the fridge or freezer. Use any left­overs from the fridge within 2 days.

Re­spect ‘use-by’ dates

Don’t eat food that’s past its use-by date, even if it looks and smells okay. Use- by dates are based on sci­en­tific tests that show how quickly harm­ful bugs can de­velop in the pack­aged food.

There are­many other proven ways to keep one­self away from food poi­son­ing, but the most log­i­cal and prac­ti­cal one is to fol­low these rule of the thumb: “If you are not sure whether a food is safe, don’t eat it. Re­heat­ing food that is con­tam­i­nated will not make it safe. Don’t taste sus­pi­cious food. It may smell and look fine but still may not be safe to eat.” So, “when in doubt, throw it out”, “an ounce of preven­tion is far bet­ter than a pound of cure.” (

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