Cooking is perhaps one of life’s greatest joys. It allows for the utilization of both intellect and creativity. There is freedom to combine and try out flavors while there is the necessity to keep track of measurements. Cooking is both science and craft. But, it only works well when you love to cook safely.
If you have never had the unfortunate experience of being made ill by food you are quite blessed. Sadly, most of us have, at some point, gotten very sick thanks to a bout with food poisoning. While it might be very uncomfortable to think of food as having the potential to poison, it is a fact that all cooks need to be aware of.
Steps to Prevent Food Poisoning
Food poisoning can be prevented if you will follow the proper procedures necessary for protection. Imagine that you are throwing a marvelous party for your friends and shortly after ingesting your chicken wraps one of them becomes violently ill and has to be taken to urgent care. Your New Jersey home has now become a haven for sickness. What could you have done differently?
If you will follow these four directives you will cut down your chances of poisoning your friends and family (possibly even yourself):
- Cook- Temperature is always very important when you are cooking. While you might be inclined to “look” at the meat to determine its done-ness, the best method incorporates the use of a thermometer. You want to ensure that any potential bacteria have been baked away with the necessary amounts of heat.
- Clean- Bacteria are everywhere. So ensuring that your hands and counters are clean can do a world of good.
- Chill- Keep your food well chilled, especially if you are taking it somewhere. Food should not be allowed to sit out longer than an hour.
- Separate- Do not allow cross-contamination. That means that you make sure your raw meats, eggs, and seafood do not have access to prepared foods.
It’s More Serious than You Think
While the majority of the populace believes that food poisoning will simply result in gut problems for a limited amount of time the truth is, it’s more serious than you think. Some food-borne illness can lead to death or prolonged health issues. And, if you’ve ever had one we’re certain you felt like you were going to die.
Making sure you follow the four step procedures listed above can certainly decrease your chances of contracting a food-borne illness. Some other suggestions worthy of consideration, for your own personal protection include:
- Don’t eat at other people’s houses
- Avoid the potlucks at work
- Check packages for expiration dates
- Clean all your vegetables with specifically designed veggie soaps (you can read about them here)
If you think you might have contracted a food-borne illness, here are some suggestions for making it through the ordeal:
- Control vomiting- Stay away from solid foods, especially those that have been fried or are spicy. Eat saltines if you think you’re ready and sip (don’t gulp) clear liquids.
- Avoid dehydration- Stick to the clear fluids, but if you think you’re getting dehydrated try a rehydration solution.
- Know when to call a doctor- If this lasts longer than three days, or you get any of the symptoms described here, it’s time to call.
No one wants to get sick. You can help prevent food poisoning by following the steps mentioned here.