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How to prevent food poisoning ?

Monday, 10 January 2011

Food poisoning is a condition that results from eating food or drinking water which is contaminated with a bacteria, virus or a parasite.

90% of the cases in the United States are caused by the following:
- Salmonella.
- Campylobacter jejuni.
- Shigella.
- Clostridium perfringens.
- Staphylococcus aureus.
What can be done to prevent food poisoning ?
Organisms grow best at room temperature. So always keep your food either hot (above 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Celsius) or cold (below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees Celsius).
Do not eat raw or undercooked seafoods, meat, poultry and eggs. Avoid purchasing fresh-cut fruits or vegetables that are not refrigerated. Avoid eating raw or unpasteurized dairy products.
Food should not be kept, at room temperature, for 2 hours.
Thoroughly, wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.
Besides, clean the counter and utensils that came in contact with raw meat or poultry.

After using the bathroom, wash your hands thoroughly. Take care that after having contact with animals, you should wash your hands as they may carry bacteria on their skin.

One important note that many people miss during defrosting food:
Defrost food in the refrigerator or in the microwave and not on the counter at room temperature. This is done to avoid the "Temperature Danger Zone", which is the temperature at which food poisoning bacteria grows best. It ranges between 5 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius.
Once the food is defrosted, cook promptly.

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