Food Safety- What you Need to Know to Avoid it

September 9, 2014 BY: LISA

It’s been a while since I wrote anything on food safety and I’ve just done a media interview for Yahoo! 7 and I think this stuff is important to be reminded about. If you have ever suffered from food poisoning you’ll want to avoid it again and if you have never had food poisoning here’s some things you need to know to avoid it!

 

What causes food poisoning?

Food poisoning is caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites which are usually found in animal and human faeces so can be particularly evident in produce grown in manure or washed or grown in water contaminated with faeces. Contamination can also occur during the slaughter process. Bacteria are also found in ears, noses and mouths so food handlers need to be particularly careful with hand washing.

 

Bacteria – Some bacteria are useful and are used in the production of fermented foods such as cheese, yoghurt and salami type meats. Others types of bacteria cause spoilage and change the appearance and taste of foods but are generally harmless, and then there are those bacteria such as salmonella and listeria which don’t alter the taste or appearance of the food and can cause harm.

 

Danger Zone: 5-60° Celcius is where bacteria can thrive.

 

What is pasteurisation?

Pasteurisation is where a food is heated and then cooled rapidly. The idea is that any nasty bacteria will be reduced in numbers and be unlikely to cause illness. The product also remains fresher for longer and spoilage is slowed down.

 

Tips to Avoid Food Poisoning:

  • Wash your hands before handling food as well as after handling raw meat products

 

  • Always use separate chopping boards for raw meat and your fruit and vegetables

 

  • Wash foods that are not going to be cooked

 

  • Always store cooked foods above raw foods in the fridge to avoid raw meat dripping onto cooked foods.

 

  • Cover food in the fridge in an air tight container

 

  • Keep your fridge less than 5° Celcius.

 

  • Reheat foods to greater than 60° Celcius- this means that food is steaming.

 

Rules for leftovers

 

Foods left out of the fridge:         Best Advice
Up to two hours                              Can be eaten or stored in the fridge
Two to four hours                            Reheat and can be eaten or stored
Over four hours                               Throw it out
Left overs in the fridge                 Needs to be eaten within 3-4 days

 

Be alert and not alarmed – these simple ideas can save a whole lot of belly ache.

Enjoy your food!

Lisa APD

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