Advertisement

Easy Ways to Prevent Food Contamination

Easy Ways to Prevent Food Contamination

Learn how doing this one thing can prevent millions of Americans from experiencing food-borne illness.

In the BBC-3 series Climaxed, mini-episodes explore hit-and-miss relationships between people after they have sex. One four-minute taste of Sam ‘n’ Ella reveals a sure way to taint an intimate occasion—clueless guy Sam plays a video game immediately after rolling over.

Well, Salmonella is another way to poison yourself and your near-and-dear. So far this year, the CDC has had to investigate Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal, pre-cut melon, eggs in a shell, dried coconut, chicken salad, Kratom, raw sprouts and frozen shredded coconut for wide-spread illness—and even death—because of Salmonella contamination.

But as frightening as that sounds, the main cause of post-meal belly aches (and worse) for the 48 million Americans who experience a food-borne illness every year is the way they handle food preparation.

USDA scientists did an observational study and found that most tummy-turning germs such as Salmonella are spread from raw meat (turkey burger in this case) to salad, refrigerator handles and even spice containers, because almost no one washes his or her hands! Out of the more than 1,200 opportunities to wash hands that the researchers observed, people used the effective germ-removing technique only three percent of the time.

So, if you don’t want the climax of your next home-cooked meal to be widespread nausea, wash your hands with soapy water for 20 seconds after you touch raw foods (meats and eggs especially). Be sure to wash the back of your hands, between fingers and under nails too; and use a meat thermometer to verify meat has reached a safe-to-eat doneness (info at USDA.gov).

Safe Food Handling: How to Avoid Foodborne Illness
Safe Food Handling: How to Avoid Foodborne Illness
Are you having E. coli, salmonella, campylobacter, listeria, or cyclospora for dinner? These are just a few of the hundreds of organisms that could be...
Read More
Reusable Totes Can Harbor Bacteria and Make You Sick
Reusable Totes Can Harbor Bacteria and Make You Sick
You're trying to do your bit to save the planet by using eco-friendly grocery bags, but if you don't clean those reusable totes frequently and properl...
Read More
How long can I keep side dishes outside before serving?
HealthyWomenHealthyWomen
It's not uncommon for an outdoor cook to stash side dishes like potato salad or coleslaw on the tabl...
More Answers
Are refrigerated foods safe from Listeria?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Unlike many bacteria, Listeria can grow at refrigerator temperatures so use a refrigerator thermomet...
More Answers