Food poisoning is a problem that’s known to affect 1 in 10 people worldwide every year. It’s usually mild but it can have severe consequences, including death.

To be on the safe side, here are 5 ways you can easily prevent food poisoning:

  1. Keep your hands clean!
    Germs are everywhere, from doorknobs, to surfaces, and personal items like phones. This is why it’s important to keep your hands clean, especially before eating. By washing your hands regularly, you can prevent the spread of germs and other harmful microbes during food preparation or while you’re eating.
  2. Check expiration dates
    One of the main causes of food poisoning is eating expired foods. Even if the food looks okay, it’s best to dispose of it once it’s past its expiration date. You should also check for any foul smell, dent or broken seal before buying canned foods, as these may be signs of bacterial contamination.
  3. Cook foods thoroughly
    Heat is your best friend when it comes to killing germs. Ensure your food is cooked thoroughly and kept at a minimum temperature of  72°C for 2 minutes before serving. Doing this helps to kill common food poisoning causing bacteria like Campylobacter, Salmonella and Listeria Monocytogenes.
  4. Manage your fresh produce.
    Fresh produce (fruits and vegetables), should be washed thoroughly before eaten to avoid getting sick. It’s also important to keep them in good condition until they are ready for use. Here are some tips for managing your fresh produce.
    • Keep fruits and vegetables separate and store similar items together (e.g. apples with apples). This prevents the gases released by different types of produce from causing spoilage.
    • Remove fruits and vegetables stored at room temperature from any packaging.
    • Leave refrigerated produce unwashed in the original packaging, except for mushrooms and herbs.
  5. Store your food properly:
    Microorganisms multiply quickly, but you can slow them down by storing your food properly. Follow these steps:
    • Keep meat, fish and poultry in your freezer or the coldest part of your fridge.
    • Leave dairy products like cheese, sour cream, milk and yoghurt in their original containers. If you transfer them to another container, don't return them to the original ones.
    • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of cooking.
    • Remove or throw away any perishable food that’s spoiling or starting to smell bad, to avoid contaminating other food.
    • Store sliced fruits and vegetables in a perforated or open plastic bag.

If you ever suspect that you’re experiencing food poisoning, please speak to a doctor on North about your symptoms. Early detection helps simplify your treatment options and speed up your recovery time.