Simple steps to take to avoid food poisoning

January 24, 2013 

Stomach ache, dizziness and vomiting often accompany food poisoning. There are some simple steps you can take to avoid that wretched feeling that one in six Americans will have this year courtesy of food poisoning.

PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM FOOD POISONING

PURCHASING: Don't buy food in cans or packages that are dented, bulging, leaking and aren’t being properly refrigerated in the grocery store. PREPARATION/HANDLING: To prevent cross-contamination, wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next food. COOKING: Cook to the right temperatures. Food is safely cooked when it reaches a high enough internal temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause illness.

STORING: Refrigerate foods promptly because cold temperatures slow the growth of harmful bacteria. Discard any food left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

IDENTIFYING CONTAMINATED FOOD: Although you can use common sense and determine a food's condition by sight and smell, this can't detect the early stages of harmful bacteria growth in your leftovers or refrigerated foods. Your best defense is prevention; properly store your food and know when it's approaching the 4-day mark.

Source: International Food Safety Training Laboratories (IFSTL) in partnership with Waters Corporation.

More consumer food safety resources:

CDC

FDA

USDA

HHS

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