Food safety is of utmost importance as there are many things that can go wrong. There are also a lot of incorrect facts floating around about food safety, so it is important to know the truth. Here are a few important things to be aware of.
1. Some People Have More Risk of Food-Borne Illness Than Others
Food poisoning can happen to anyone, but there are certain people who are more at risk than others. These include the elderly, pregnant women, young babies and children, and those with compromised immune systems and chronic illnesses. Be vigilant about food safety, but especially so when you are serving the food to anyone in these categories.
2. A Small Percent of Improvement Goes a Long Way
Approximately 48 million people get sick from food-borne illness every year. Because of this, simply cutting out 1 percent of these cases would mean that nearly 500,000 fewer people would become sick each year. Although thankfully less common than sickness, death can be another result of food poisoning. This means that reducing the amount of food poisoning cases would reduce the amount of deaths caused by it as well.
3. Washing Hands Is Essential
Many people assume that food-borne illness is caused only when something is wrong with the food. In fact, a large amount of these illnesses are caused by individuals involved in the preparation of the food who did not wash their hands properly, if at all.
If everyone who handled food would wash their hands properly, a large amount of food poisoning cases would cease to exist. Washing hands before food preparation is important so that germs do not spread to the food to be eaten, but washing hands after food preparation is also important in order to prevent bacteria from the food being transferred to an individual’s mouth.
4. Wash Produce before You Peel and Cut It
It is highly important to wash your fruits and vegetables before cutting them. Harmful bacteria can lurk on the outside of the skin. By washing the produce first, it will remove the bacteria before it gets pushed to the inside of the produce by way of a knife or another utensil.
5. Don’t Wash Raw Meat and Eggs
Many people think they are being extra careful by washing raw meat and eggs before using them. But, nothing could be further from the truth. Washing raw meat and eggs does not get rid of harmful microorganisms, and can make things worse due to splashing the microbes into sinks, onto countertops and all over surrounding food and objects.
6. There Are Many Different Kinds of Food-Borne Illnesses
There are more than 250 kinds of food-borne diseases known. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that your food is safe simply because you are certain it isn’t harboring a specific kind of bacteria. There are many different pathogens that can contaminate one’s food, so it is wise to follow all safety tips when preparing it.
With all the misinformation and misunderstandings around food preparation, handling and safety, it is a good idea to educate yourself. This will help you as you make decisions about the food you cook and the way you cook it.