11 Food Poisoning Symptoms & Prevention Tips You Should Take Serious
Food poisoning is caused by the consumption of foods that are polluted by contagious organisms that include bacteria, parasites, viruses plus other toxins.
The symptoms of food poisoning include
- Stomach cramps
- General feelings of malaise
You can prevent food poisoning with the following tips;
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, and dry them before handling food, after handling raw foods – including meat, fish, eggs and vegetables – and after touching the bin, going to the toilet, blowing your nose, or touching animals, including pets.
- Wash worktops before and after preparing food, particularly after they’ve been touched by raw meat, including poultry, raw eggs, fish and vegetables. You don’t need to use antibacterial sprays: hot, soapy water is fine.
- Wash dishcloths and tea towels regularly and let them dry before you use them again. Dirty, damp cloths are the perfect place for germs to breed.
- Use separate chopping boards for raw food and ready-to-eat food. Raw foods can contain harmful bacteria that spreads very easily to anything they touch, including other foods, worktops, chopping boards and knives.
- Keep raw meat separate: It’s especially important to keep raw meat away from ready-to-eat foods, such as salad, fruit and bread. This is because these foods won’t be cooked before you eat them, so any bacteria that gets on to the foods won’t be killed.
- Store raw meat on the bottom shelf: Always cover raw meat and store it on the bottom shelf of the fridge, where it can’t touch other foods or drip onto them.
- Cook food thoroughly and check that it’s steaming hot all the way through. Make sure poultry, pork, burgers, sausages and kebabs are cooked until steaming hot, with no pink meat inside.
- Don’t wash raw meat including chicken and turkey before cooking, as this risks spreading bacteria around your kitchen.
- Cool leftovers quickly: If you have cooked food that you’re not going to eat straight away, cool it as quickly as possible (within 90 minutes) and store it in the fridge or freezer. Use any leftovers from the fridge within two days.
- Respect ‘use by’ dates: Don’t eat food that’s past its ‘use by’ date even if it looks and smells okay. ‘Use by’ dates are based on scientific tests that show how quickly harmful bugs can develop in the packaged food.