Food poisoning can lead to stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and even cause such severe health problems as kidney failure or blood infection. However, it does not have to happen, and there are some very simple things you can do in order to avoid food poisoning.
1) Watch what you eat
Be especially careful with raw foods from animals. Don’t let juices from raw meat touch anything else that you are planning to eat. Avoid unpasteurized milk because it contains dangerous bacteria. Instead of soft cheeses, like camembert or brie, prefer hard, processed, or cream cheese.
Even though it sounds obvious, never forget to check the expiration dates before you buy and cook anything. Also, do not leave milk, meat, and eggs in room temperature for long and refrigerate them as soon as you can.
Vegetables, especially sprouts, can cause food poisoning, so be particularly careful around those.
2) Cleaning is key
It is necessary that you wash your hands before and in the process of cooking, as well as before eating and after coughing or sneezing. However, there are lots of other things that need regular cleaning: for instance, knives and cutting boards.
Use antibacterial soap to clean them, especially after you used them for cutting raw meat, eggs, seafood, and poultry. Wash dishcloths too because if you do not, they will create a perfect environment for germs to spread.
3) Cook thoroughly
Always cook meat until there is no pink inside. You can also use a clean thermometer to check the temperature inside the cooked food and thus make sure that it is ready to be served on the table. Do not wash raw meat before you cook it because this will lead to bacteria spreading all over your kitchen, but always wash raw fruit and vegetables, and do that twice as hard if you are not planning to cook them.
4) Use the fridge wisely
Keep raw meat on the bottom shelf of your fridge, to avoid it touching or dripping onto other foods. Since bacteria from raw meat can get onto other foods, never store it next to salads, fruit, or anything else that you will not cook after you get it out of the fridge.
Regularly check that the temperature inside your refrigerator is below 5C to stop germs from growing. Overfilling the refrigerator is very dangerous because it can cause air to not circulate properly, so avoid doing that.
5) Be cautious when you eat out
Before you go to a restaurant, check its inspection score online. When you enter a restaurant, have a look around and make sure that it looks clean, Doing these two simple things will minimize the risk of you getting food poisoning.
However, do not forget to check the food you are served before you start eating it. If you see that it is undercooked, do not be ashamed to send it back and ask for a thoroughly cooked meal on a new plate. If you have leftovers and take them home, put them in the refrigerator as soon as possible: preferably within 2 hours.