8 tips to avoid food poisoning this summer

In summer, people have a higher risk of food poisoning because warmer temperatures allow food-borne germs to multiply quickly.

Research has shown that the risk of food poisoning increases between 40°F and 140°F

The effects of food poisoning can occur between a few hours to a few days after ingestion.

Common symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fever.

Diane Calello, executive and medical director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, suggests people pay attention to food safety when they prepare meals.

She provides 8 tips to help people prevent food poisoning:

During shopping, always pick up meat, poultry, or seafood right before checking out and to keep these items separate from other items in the cart.

Wash hands with soap and warm water before and after preparing foods.

Wash fruits and vegetables well and keep them from touching any surfaces or utensils that were exposed to raw meat.

Keep meat and poultry in the fridge or a cooler until you are ready to start cooking.

Use a food thermometer to make sure that meat is cooked all the way through, to a temperature that is hot enough to kill harmful bacteria and germs.

Divide leftovers into smaller portions and put them in covered shallow containers. This allows the food to cool properly to prevent bacteria from growing.

Put all food, especially hot dishes, meat/poultry/seafood, salads, or items containing mayonnaise, into the fridge within two hours of cooking, or within one hour if the temperature is 90°F or above.

Avoid eating raw cookie dough, bread batter, or cake/brownie mixes as it contains raw ingredients that may be contaminated with a variety of harmful germs.

The researcher also suggests that people should frequently check pantries, refrigerators, and freezers to make sure they don’t contain any recalled foods linked to contamination and outbreaks.

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