While food poisoning is rarely serious and you can recover from it within a week, it can be a very uncomfortable experience. Naturally, you’d want to avoid food poisoning and prevent your children from catching it.
In this Chemist Direct article, we look at simple, straightforward ways you can go and prevent contracting food poisoning at home.
But first, what is food poisoning?
What is Food Poisoning?
Food poisoning is a foodborne illness that is caused by eating contaminated food, ingesting infectious organisms such as bacteria, viruses and parasites.
How do you know if you have food poisoning?
Food poisoning manifests itself in several clear symptoms, including:
- stomach cramps
- a high temperature of 38C or above
- feeling generally unwell – such as feeling tired or having aches and chills
You would experience a combination, if not all, symptoms would normally happen within a few hours of eating contaminated food.
If you experience these symptoms for over a week or becomes more severe, please see your doctor.
How can you prevent food poison?
Washing your Hands Prevents Food Poisoning
Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water and drying them before handling food and after handling raw food is very important. You can do this with warm or cold water but you should use a good handwash or soap. This simple process removes and kills off most bacteria and contaminants.
Also, you should repeat the process after touching the bin, using the bathroom, blowing your nose or touching pets.
Clean Worktops Prevents Food Poisoning
Keeping your kitchen worktops clean before and after preparing food is vita in preventing food poisoning. This is very important when handling raw meat, raw eggs, wish and vegetables.
You can do this with just warm soapy water, antibacterial disinfectant sprays and wipes can help protect you and your family from contaminants.
Separate Raw & Cooked Meat
A big source of food poisoning is mixing raw meats with cooked or ready-made meats. That’s why it is important to separate and store raw and cooked effectively. It ‘s why it’s good practice to store uncooked meat on the bottom shelf of the fridge, where it can’t touch or drip onto other foods.
When storing raw meat, your fridge must be below 5’c to prevent germs growing. That is why a fridge thermometer is important.
Use Separate Chopping Boards for Different Foods
Most people don’t realise this but you should use separate chopping boards for preparing different types of food. You should have one board for raw meats, another for fish and another for fruits and vegetables. This is commonplace with any professional kitchen and should be done at home as well.
These, naturally, should be cleaned before and after use.
Cook Food Thoroughly
A leading cause of food poisoning is undercooked food, especially meat. It is important to make sure that your food is steaming hot before eating and check that the meat isn’t pink. Whether you’re at home or out eating in a restaurant, if you’re unsure whether your food is properly cooked, don’t eat it.
Change Sponges & Wash Dishcloths Regularly
Dirty sponges and dishcloths can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. This is something you don’t want in your kitchen, especially for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
That’s why it is important to change sponges and wash dishcloths regularly. This goes applies to your scrub brushes. You should also clean your dish rack regularly too. Plates and bowls dripping dry can cause spots of mould and germs to grow.
At Chemist Direct, we understand how uncomfortable food poisoning. That is why we work with leading disinfectant, handwash and soap brands you know and love such as Dettol. Check them out today.
This article has been medically approved by Superintendent Pharmacist Shilpa Shailen Karia, MRPharmS. - GPhC Reg No: 2087328