Prevent food poisoning with these precautions
BY DR. KOMOROFF Universal Uclick
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
11/21/12 at 2:33 AM
Dear Doctor K: I recently suffered through a miserable bout of food poisoning. How can I protect myself in the future?
Dear Reader: There are few things less fun than food poisoning. Abdominal cramping, vomiting and diarrhea - clearly not an experience you want to repeat.
Food poisoning commonly occurs when food or water is contaminated during improper cooking, handling or storage. Common contaminants are bacteria, such as salmonella, Campylobacter and E. coli.
The three things you have to do to prevent food poisoning are to select safe foods, store foods properly and prepare foods safely. How do you do that?
Select safe foods:
Store foods properly:
- Buy foods before their expiration date.
- Make certain that cans of food are not dented or bulging. A bulging can could indicate that the food is contaminated by a bacteria that produces gas.
- Avoid foods that contain raw eggs.
Prepare foods safely:
- Refrigerate or freeze perishables immediately.
- Check your refrigerator and freezer to make sure they are set to the proper temperatures (41 degrees for the fridge, 0 degrees for the freezer).
- Thaw food in the refrigerator. Thawing at room temperature gives bacteria a chance to grow.
- Keep utensils and cooking surfaces clean.
- Once you use a utensil to handle raw meat, clean it thoroughly before using it on cooked meat.
- Don't prepare raw meat and fish on the same surface that you use for other foods.
- Wash your hands before and after preparing food.
- Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
- Clean your cutting board with soap and hot water before and after each use.
- Make sure all food is cooked thoroughly. Use a meat thermometer to check.
- Serve foods immediately after cooking.
Write Dr. K at www.AskDoctorK.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106