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8 Food safety mistakes you may make

If you take the time to prepare a meal, you probably expect your food to nourish you instead of making you ill. Foodborne Diseases Due to harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins and chemicals are amazingly common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 48 million people in the United States each year have a food-borne illness. That's a lot of wear on toilets across the nation.

It's not just restaurants or supermarket products that cause trouble. Cooking at home is also a major cause of foodborne illness, Philip M. Tierno Ph.D., clinical professor of microbiology and pathology at NYU Langone Health and author of the book The Secret Life of Germs tells SELF.
Some of the foundations for safe food handling seem obvious, but experts say there are many food safety mistakes that people do not notice. Here are some that might surprise you.

. 1 They thaw frozen raw meat or poultry at the counter.

Bacteria grow rapidly at room temperature after FoodSafety.gov . And as food thaws unevenly, bacteria grow on the thawed areas, even if other parts of the food still feel frozen. Tierno says that bacteria can make you sick and contaminate other items in your kitchen.

If you need to defrost perishable food, the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America (USDA) recommends the following options:

  • Thaw in the refrigerator. For this method, you need to plan in advance what may take a few days. For example, a large item such as a turkey requires at least 24 hours per 5 pounds of weight when the refrigerator is set at 40 degrees. After thawing, foods such as minced meat or turkey should be in the fridge for a day or two before cooking.

  • Thawing in cold water. This is a faster option, but requires more frozen food in a leak-proof bag. Immerse the item in cold water and change the water every 30 minutes. One pound of meat, poultry or seafood can take an hour or less, but larger packs take longer. After thawing, cook the food immediately.

  • Thawing in the microwave. It's safe to thaw raw food in the microwave, but you need to cook it immediately when it's thawed.

The USDA reports that one can also go directly to cooking. All home cooks should keep in mind that deep-freezing a food takes about 50 percent longer than non-freezing. This may not be the best plan for your recipe. For example, the National Center for Home Food Conservation states that if you want to roast and fry meat, poultry or seafood, it should at least partially be thawed for easier handling.

2 You wash raw poultry before you cook it.

In a nationwide representative survey of 1,504 individuals published in the Journal of Food Protection nearly 70 percent of consumers reported flushing or washing poultry. If you do, you should stop.

Crude poultry frequently carry the disease-causing bacteria Campylobacter and may also be contaminated with other pathogens such as Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens according to the CDC . If you give your raw poultry a peel, these pathogens will not be eliminated. On the contrary, they risk injecting these pathogens into other areas, making them more susceptible to food-borne illnesses. "The juices of meat can contaminate the sink and counter areas, as well as your hands," explains Tierno.

. 3 They do not pay attention to nutritional memories.

"The challenge is that people do not hear about memory, or two, if they do, they assume they are not around." (Barbara Kowalcyk, 19459004) Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Food Science and Technology at Ohio State University and co-founder of the nonprofit Center for Food Research and Disease Prevention says SELF.


Food Recalls Notifications Subscribe to Foodsafety.gov RSS feed or Recalls.gov Email alerts.

If you hear about a recall, follow these three rules:

  • Do not assume that your region is not affected: Businesses could indicate where the food came from and identifying information like one Indicate product code on the packaging, but you do not need to specify exactly where it is a contaminated product has been sold, explains Kowalcyk. That means you need to check if a callback matches items in your home.

  • Do not ignore a recall just because it's "volunteer": As Kowalcyk notes, most recalls are voluntary. That does not mean that they are not serious. "It's really important to pay attention because they trigger these recalls when they know there is contamination or when they think there is a significant risk of people becoming ill," says Kowalcyk.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must allow a company to conduct a voluntary recall before a mandatory withdrawal is made. In fact, the FDA has actually only made a compulsory recall order (in April 2018, all food products that had been pulverized by Triangle Pharmanaturals LLC due to a salmonella risk of kratom were withdrawn). The point is that companies remember products when there is a real threat, so you should pay attention and …

  • Eject the product immediately: Do not try to cook it since you Other items in your computer could contaminate your kitchen. "Discard it and wash your hands appropriately and the surfaces it might have touched, even if it's an outer shell," advises Tierno.

. 4 They do not wash fruits and vegetables with inedible peel.

Whether it's an avocado or a apple you should wash all products before eating or cooking with it, Tierno advises. If you think you can skip washing fruits and vegetables if you do not eat the skin, think again. The FDA recommends washing all products before cutting or peeling so that no pathogens or dirt are transferred from the skin to the flesh. (The only real exception are prewashed products.)

The contamination of fruits and vegetable skins is a real problem. For example, in a recent report by FDA bacteria Listeria monocytogenes were found on the skin of more than 17 percent of the 361 tested avocado cells. Foods contaminated with Listeria may, according to the CDC (19459106), result in listeriosis, a serious and potentially fatal disease.

Washing fruits and vegetables is a simple way to reduce the number of possible pathogens that you consume. Running water is great, no soap needed . Skin-sized products, such as avocados, can even be scrubbed with a brush.

. 5 You do not use a meat thermometer.

If you're usually looking for pink spots in your flesh to test readiness, it's time for a safer approach. "Color is not a good indication of treat," says Kowalcyk. (The same is true for smelling or tasting food to see if it's still good.) You can tell by sight or smell if food is safe.)

For meat and poultry, Kowalcyk recommends using a digital one , tip-sensitive meat thermometer. "If it's not a point-sensitive thermometer, you need to bring it down to a certain depth before it can properly register the temperature," she explains.

Foodsafety.gov maintains a list of safe minimum gas temperatures. For example, poultry should be cooked to an interior temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. A fresh steak can be cooked at 145 degrees, with a three-minute rest period. The specified rest periods must be taken into account, as the heat continues to destroy pathogens.

Remember that these temperatures are minimums. You can cook to a higher internal temperature for extra care. Tierno recommends 180 degrees for poultry including turkey and 170 degrees for beef, pork and lamb.

. 6 They omit the washing of the hands and the disinfection of the surfaces between the preparation stages of the dishes.

You may think it is sensible to wash your hands before you start cooking but do not forget to rinse them again after washing. Have we opened a package with raw chicken? Yes, it is an (possibly annoying) extra step in trying to perform culinary magic, but you should really wash your hands every time you come into contact with raw meat or poultry. "The whole concept is to prevent cross-contamination," explains Tierno.

To effectively wash your hands you must rub them together with soap and water for at least 20 seconds ("Happy Birthday" twice, Tierno says). Do not forget to get between your fingers and clean the nails by running them over your soapy palms.

It is also important to prevent surfaces that touch raw meat from contaminating other objects. For example, a plate that grills raw meat should not return the cooked meat.

To disinfect surfaces for food preparation, you can wipe areas such as the counters with hot soapy water. Finish cooking any food. Tierno also recommends cleaning the counters and sink with a bleach solution. Foodsafety.gov reports that you can create a solution for disinfecting by mixing one tablespoon of liquid chlorine bleach in one gallon of water.

Finally, often replace your sponges and cloths because they can harbor bacteria.

. 7 They do not keep raw meat separate from other foods.

The prevention of cross-contamination begins in the supermarket. In a study of 2018 in the Journal of Food Protection 402 smears of meat packaging were sampled. It was found that bacteria from raw poultry products can be transferred to the packaging with meat juice. If you touch them, they are theoretically transported home. Talk about Yuck.

When shopping, Kowalcyk, like a glove, takes a plastic bag to pick up raw meat wrappers and pulls the plastic bag over it so the packs are trapped. Since it does not touch the outside of the package and the package does not touch other foods, this reduces the risk of cross-contamination.

Also, consider cross-contamination when unpacking food. It was noted in the 2018 Journal of Food Protection study that people's habits of storage (such as putting a packet of meat on the kitchen counter without a protective pouch) could contribute to cross-contamination, even if they did Handle the meat safely in the meat food market. In your fridge, Kowalcyk says, "Ready-to-eat foods should be kept separate from uncooked eggs, uncooked meat, uncooked seafood, and things like that."

Do not forget to wash your hands after shopping, Tierno says, "The whole idea is to cut the numbers [pathogen]. The less invading your body, the less likely you are to become ill. "

. 8 They leave the food after cooking or eating too long outdoors.

This delicious post-food stupor that sets in after a good meal can lead to remnants the last thing that comes to your mind. However, if you want to indulge in the joy of eating leftovers without getting sick, cool the food as soon as possible.

"Foods should never be left out for more than two hours and then, even if they're in the drugstore fridge and you take it out the next day, the food has to be heated so it's hot enough to kill organisms, that may have grown there, "says Tierno. Foodsafety.gov recommends heating of remains to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees.

This is also important because bacteria can multiply rapidly if food cools immediately after cooking. If you are unable to keep the food warm after cooking at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit (19459154) before you refrigerate it, instant cooling is a good idea.

If you still get sick despite a food illness, your best efforts are how to handle it.

"Most food-borne illnesses cause a combination of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and sometimes fever" (19459004), Amesh Adalja MD, an infectious disease specialist and senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security SELF reported. These symptoms may be more severe in people who have lower disease-fighting reserves, including very young or elderly people, people who have compromised the immune system, and people who are pregnant. Adalia.

The most common pathogens that cause food poisoning usually make you ill for eight to five days after you take them, but it can sometimes take weeks for you to get sick. This can make it difficult to identify the offender. After onset of symptoms, they usually resolve within 48 hours, as described in the Mayo Clinic

. As long as you can hold liquids back and your symptoms improve over a few hours or days, it's OK to take care of your food disease at home, Dr. Adalia. The Mayo Clinic recommends drinking small amounts of fluid slowly to maintain hydration but not nausea and rest. If you think you can handle it, you may reintroduce bland food into your system.

If your symptoms persist for more than two or three days, you should consult a doctor. We talk tireless diarrhea or vomiting, drowsiness, high fever that does not respond to acetaminophen or ibuprofen or is so tired that you can not get out of bed. And if you are dealing with severe signs of food poisoning, such as: Eg violent abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea or signs of life-threatening illness botulism (double vision, tortuous language, muscle weakness) and more), you should seek emergency examination and treatment.


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