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Avoid Food Poisoning This Summer By Following These Tips

Read on as we share a list of precautionary steps you can take to prevent food poisoning.

Avoid Food Poisoning This Summer By Following These Tips

There is a higher chance of food poisoning in summer as higher temperatures can promote bacterial growth

Food poisoning, also known as foodborne illness, is an illness caused by consuming contaminated food or beverages. The contamination can occur due to various pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, and toxins. Reducing the risk of food poisoning in summer is essential due to the higher temperatures that can promote bacterial growth. Fortunately, you can prevent food poisoning through some easy tips and habits. Keep reading as we share a list of precautionary steps you can take to prevent food poisoning.

Tips to help you avoid food poisoning and stay safe during summer:

1. Keep food refrigerated

Cold temperatures slow bacterial growth, preventing spoilage and contamination. Store perishable foods (meat, dairy, leftovers) in the refrigerator at or below 40°F (4°C). Use a cooler with ice packs for picnics and outdoor activities.

2. Cook foods to safe temperatures

Proper cooking kills harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Use a food thermometer to check internal temperatures. Avoid relying solely on colour or texture to determine doneness. This helps reduce your risk of bacterial infections like Salmonella and E. coli.

3. Avoid cross-contamination

Avoiding cross-contamination prevents the spread of bacteria from raw foods to ready-to-eat items. Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat and other foods. Along with this, wash hands, surfaces, and tools thoroughly after handling raw foods.

4. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly

Washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly removes dirt, bacteria, and pesticide residues. Rinse produce under running water before eating, cutting, or cooking. You can also use a brush for firm produce like melons and cucumbers.

5. Keep the kitchen clean

It helps reduce the presence of bacteria in food preparation areas. Clean your countertops, utensils, and cutting boards with hot, soapy water after each use. You must also sanitise kitchen surfaces regularly, especially after preparing raw foods.

6. Practice good hand hygiene

Washing hands removes bacteria and viruses that can transfer to food. Wash hands your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before handling food. Also, wash hands after using the bathroom, handling raw foods, and other necessary times.

7. Store leftovers properly

This prevents bacterial growth in stored food. Always refrigerate your leftovers within two hours of cooking.  You can store food in shallow containers to cool food quickly and evenly.

8. Use clean water in the kitchen

Using clean water for cooking and drinking prevents the ingestion of harmful pathogens. Ensure drinking water you are consuming is from a safe, clean source. Boil or filter water if you are unsure of its safety, especially when traveling.

9. Thaw food safely

Thawing foods properly prevents bacteria from growing on food as it thaws. You can do this by thawing foods in the refrigerator, cold water, or the microwave, and not on the countertop. Cook food immediately after thawing in the microwave or cold water.

By following these tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of food poisoning during the summer, ensuring that your meals are safe and enjoyable while promoting better health and well-being.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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