Protecting Your Family From Foodborne Illnesses
It seems like at least a couple times every month you hear about a food item being recalled from store shelves, or you hear about a friend that ate out at some restaurant, fast food or otherwise, and got food poisoning. Food poisoning is a preventable illness, but sometimes the prevention is out of your own hands.
When it isn’t your fault, like in the case of getting sick at a restaurant, you have some options when it comes to dealing with what happened to you, such as filing a lawsuit against the restaurant. You may want to do this if you missed work, or if it led to hospitalization of a family member.
However, sometimes foodborne illnesses happen right in your own home. Here are some tips to prevent this from happening.
Know How To Store Properly
You should know how to store food properly, both before and after they are cooked. How long can something stay in the refrigerator before it’s bad? It varies some by item. But the general rule is no more than four days. Unsure if something is safe? Don’t bet on it, and just toss it out.
Food storage also counts as to how long something spends time in your freezer. Many people think they can toss something in there and it will be good forever, but for many things a year is the limit. Foods, especially meat, can get freezer burned, which makes them lose their flavor and might make them a health hazard.
Know How To Prep And Cook Properly
You also want to know how to prep your food responsibly. Households with food allergies shouldn’t be the only ones worrying about cross contamination. If you get chicken juices on your salad items you could be making your whole family sick.
It’s also important to know proper cooking times and temperatures. While you can often get away with some pink, or even some blood, in a steak or hamburger, any pink left in chicken, and even pork, can spell disaster when it comes to food poisoning. Take some time to learn what temps your meat should be cooked to, and invest in a meat thermometer.
Don’t Forget To Clean Up
Don’t just clean up right after chopping up some chicken, but leave everything else around the kitchen. You’re just asking for mold, and more, this way. Get some bleach spray, so you make sure you are actually killing any germs.
Food left out, even crumbs, can also attract bugs and rodents, which present even more of a health hazard in your home and in your kitchen. Spend a little time after each meal cleaning up, even sweeping the floor, to help prevent illness and even infestations.