8 Tips to Avoid Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is unpleasant at any age, but when you’re older, the effects can be much more serious, even life-threatening. Follow these tips to keep your food fresh and safe to eat.
1. Check for Expiration Dates
Before you buy, look at the dates on packaging and make sure that foods are still within their ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date.
2. Keep Frozen Foods Frozen
If you’re buying chilled or frozen food, make sure you’re able to get it home and into the fridge or freezer within a reasonable time.
3. Separate Raw From Cooked Foods
Keep raw and cooked foods separate. Never prepare raw and cooked food using the same equipment (knives, chopping board etc), unless it has been thoroughly washed first. Keep cooked and raw foods separate in the fridge, with raw food at the bottom.
4. Monitor Your Refrigerator
Check that your fridge is working at the correct temperature. This should be 1-5°C. Never put hot food into the fridge, it causes the temperature to rise and bacteria may multiply.
5. Keep Clean
Always wash your hands with hot soapy water before handling food and again between handling raw and cooked meats. Cover any cuts on your hands with waterproof plasters.
6. Cook Food Thoroughly
Make sure that food is properly cooked. Be very careful with chicken. To test, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the meat – the juices should run clear with no sign of blood. Reheat leftovers thoroughly.
7. Beware of Raw Eggs
Avoid raw eggs or lightly cooked eggs or dishes made using them. Always cook eggs thoroughly – until the yolk is solid.
8. Keep Dish Cloths Clean
Wash dish cloths and tea towels regularly. Ideally, boil them: a dishcloth can contain up 100 billion bacteria after a week’s use.