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Posted on: 05-11-14
Food safety basics

Foodborne illness or infections and irritation of the gastro-intestinal tract(GIT) are caused by foods that contain harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses or chemicals. They are classically characterized by vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, blurred vision, headache, weakness, fever and chills.

Food safety is a shared responsibility of everyone. We should keep the following points in mind:
1. Avoid contact between raw and cooked food to avoid cross contamination. Do remember that no raw foods that reach the consumer are in a sterile state, they usually contain bacteria or other microbes, most of which are harmless.
2. Separate raw meat or poultry from other foods while shopping for daily groceries to prevent the juices from dripping onto other foods, like vegetables and fruits that you may have also purchased.
3. Wash your hands before and after food handling to prevent contamination.
4. Cool cooked foods as quickly as possible and then refrigerate, preferably to below 5 degree Celsius. Perishable food items must not be kept at room temperatures for longer than two hours, as they multiply best in this danger zone (10-60 degrees Celsius).
5. Reheat food throughly and evenly through the dish, to kill any tiny microbes, which may have developed during storage.
6. Keep kitchen surfaces, cutting boards, storage utensils and you fridge under high cleanliness surveillance.
7. Do not buy frozen food if the packaging is damaged.
8.. Use filtered drinking water or boil it to make it safe before drinking.
9. Lastly, do not use food beyond its expiry date.

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