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                 Safeguarding Your Food  
   

  

 

Every year, an estimated 7 million Americans suffer from cases of foodborne illness.  Some cases it may even result in death.  This is commonly known as 'food poisoning.  Food that has dangerously high levels of bacteria due to improper cooking or handling are the danger here.      

 

We tend to take food safety for granted, but history has taught us a few lessons like food poisoning involving some meat that was undercooked.  It was determined that the problem never would have happened if the meat had been cooked properly.  E.Coli 0157.H7 is a potent virus, but it can be completely destroyed when the meat is fully cooked.      

 

It is important that we take an all-around safety approach to purchasing, storing and preparing meat and poultry products.  We are in the end responsible for keeping food safe once it leaves the store.        

 

About 85 percent of foodborne illness cases could be avoided each year if consumers would handle food properly.  A combination of bacteria naturally present in the environment and food handling mistakes are the most common food related poisonings. 

 

Strangely, these are also the easiest types of food poisoning to prevent.  Proper preparing and cooking of raw meat and poultry will kill bacteria that can cause food poisoning.  

     

When you go shopping, do the groceries last so that it can remain at it's freshest from the shop to the fridge. Make sure that your fridge is set to rather to cold than to warm.  A perfect temperature will be that point just before the milk freezes.  Make sure that the food holder lids fits tight. Take food out of cans immediately after opened and put it in food holders.  

 

Always keep the kitchen surfaces very clean.  Wash hands regularly while preparing the food.  Bacteria can live in your kitchen towels, sponges and dish cloths.  They must be washed regulary and the dish cloths and sponges you use can be replaced regularly every few weeks. 

 

Important.  eperate the meats, fish and poultry from other food.   For example, always wash your hands, your cutting board and knife in hot soapy water after cutting up the meat, and before dicing salad ingredients.  Use a plastic cutting board instead of a wooden one, because it limits the risk of bacteria that can hide in grooves. Don't take your food out of the freezer and leave it on the kitchen counter to unfreeze.  This will result into bacteria that can grow in the outer layers of the food before the inside unfreezes.  It is wise to do your marinating in the refrigerator too.  

Don't leave food in a hot car because the heat can help bacteria to grow.

 

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