Why Food Safety Is Important
Food safety and a healthy life are two co-dependent phrases ! It is extremely risky to consume food that is not guarded by preventive measures. If hygiene is not followed even while growing, harvesting, processing, cooking and storing food, it can be detrimental for health.
In USA, every year,48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne illness, as per the data showed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Contaminated food, apart from food poisoning, can even lead to life-taking medical conditions.
1. If your eatables get contaminated by bacteria like Salmonella , it can cause two kinds of foodborne illness-
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and fever, with symptoms generally lasting a couple of days and tapering off within a week. Raw foods like fruits and vegetables , nuts and raw meat poultry are likely to be contaminated by Salmonella.
2. Enteric fever high fever, food poisoning -- diarrhea or constipation, aches, headache, and drowsiness. l Enteric fever includes typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever.
3. The US FDA has identified that a bacteria called Campylobacter has caused most of the foodborne illness in USA. Campylobacter can enter the body through contaminated water, unpasteurized milk or cheese, and undercooked , raw meat poultry seafood .
It can cause gastrointestinal symptoms , nausea, food poisoning -- vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), cramps as well as a fever typically appear within 2 to 5 days and may last up to 10 days.
In some cases, Campylobacter may spread to the bloodstream and cause a life-threatening infection.
4. The US FDA says that although foodborne Listeriosis is not common, it is one of the leading causes of death from foodborne illness .
Listeria can cause two forms of disease
- It can cause mild to intense nausea, vomiting, aches, fever, and, sometimes, diarrhea, and usually resolves itself.
- Invasive Listeriosis is a deadly form that occurs when the infection invades beyond the gut to sites like the blood or brain. This can cause blood infection, meningitis infection around the brain and other potentially fatal problems. In pregnant women, Listeria infection can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor, and severe illness or death in the newborn.
4 Steps to Food Safety in the Kitchen
To prevent any foodborne illness or food poisoning, the United States Food and Drug Administration and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issues advisories from time-to-time.
These advisories mainly include steps to ensure food safety in the kitchen-
1. Properly Cooking raw foods like poultry and seafood
2. Food Storage
4. Avoid cross-contamination
You're eating at a friend's house and you're not sure if the food is safe.
You're at a restaurant and you're not sure if the food is safe.
Cooking food at the right temperature can kill germs and bacteria causing foodborne illness. It is very difficult to say if the food is properly cooked just by seeing its color or checking its texture, especially in the case of meat poultry.
The only way that can guarantee you the right internal temperature is by using a food thermometer.
Considering the importance of the right internal temperature of the food for health, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has even recommended the ideal cooking temperature for meat poultry seafood .
- Whole cuts of beef, veal, lamb, and pork, including fresh ham ( raw meats )- 145F (then allow the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or eating)
- Fish with fins- 145F or cook until flesh is opaque
- Ground meats, such as beef and pork- 160F
- Meat poultry, including ground chicken and turkey- 165F
- Leftovers and casseroles- 165F
There are various types of food thermometers available BBQ food thermometers, digital food thermometers. All you have to do is insert the meat probe in the deeper part of the raw meat which is usually in the center. Keep the meat poultry seafood dish in the BBQ grill, oven. And select the temperature settings. Once the dish reaches the set internal temperature, it will alert you.
Maintaining kitchen hygiene is no rocket-science. All you need to do is be a little extra attentive and careful when dealing with perishable items. Make it a habit to wash your hands the moment you enter kitchen. It will reduce the risk of cross contamination , consequently curbing food poisoning and other foodborne illness . Clean your kitchen appliances and cutting boards from time-to-time.
And, cook and store food at right temperature to ensure Food Safety .
To learn more, click on Food Safety , Supply Chain
The thought of food poisoning is a scary one.
You don’t want to be sick for the day or worse, you don’t want your family members to get sick from eating your food.