5 Tips to Avoid Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is usually caused by contamination with bacteria, parasites and viruses. Although this might seem unavoidable, none of us really have any desire to deal with the symptoms that come with it. Diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain are some of the most common symptoms. When it comes to food poisoning, the best defense is a good offense – avoiding it altogether.

So what can you do? Here are five helpful tips:

1. Make Sure Meats are Well-Cooked

Proper cooking temperatures are key when it comes to killing bacteria, so it’s important to know what temperatures to use. An internal thermometer will ensure your meats have been cooked safely. If something doesn’t look done, put it back in the oven for everyone’s safety.

2. Wash Your Hands Well And Often

Although it might seem obvious, washing your hands is another way to stop the spread of germs to food.  Believe it or not, many of us don’t wash properly after using the bathroom or touching meat, which can increase the chances of illness. Humming the “Happy Birthday” song while washing your hands is a great way to make sure you’ve spent enough time cleaning them.

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3. Check Your Food When Eating Out

Before chowing down in a restaurant, check your meat to ensure it’s cooked properly. Pork, chicken, sausages and burgers shouldn’t be pink in the middle. Eggs shouldn’t be runny. Not happy with what you’ve received? Ask the waiter to send the food back so it can be cooked correctly.

4. Pay Attention to Smell

Smell can present an obvious giveaway when you’re pulling the meat out of the refrigerator. If you notice the meat, eggs or other foods you plan on cooking have a rotten or “off” smell, it’s time to throw it away. While this might seem wasteful, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

5. Throw Away if Not Refrigerated

If you accidentally left food out after dinner and are wondering if it is worth saving, figure out how long it has been sitting out for. A common rule of thumb is to throw out anything that has been sitting out for longer than two hours, especially if it was cooked at 90 degrees or higher.

Food poisoning may seem overwhelming, but it’s avoidable if you follow basic food safety rules. By cooking at the right temperature, paying attention to the appearance and smell of food, and throwing away when necessary, food poisoning can be an instance in your life that you can almost completely avoid.

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~Here’s to Your Healthy Pursuits

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