“From farm to plate make food safe”

It is very necessary to create awareness regarding food safety to avoid foodborne diseases. We can't see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. Handling food is as important as buying and storing them. It becomes my duty as a nutritionist to bring awareness regarding food safety to the common man.

These are some common facts which should be kept in mind while handling food:

  • Purchase refrigerated foods the last and don’t buy packets which are leaking or torn.
  • Never thaw food on the counter. Harmful bacteria’s grow when foods are in the danger zone between 40°F and 140°F.  Thaw foods in the refrigerator, cold water or in the microwave.
  • Don’t taste food to see if it bad because you can’t see, smell and taste bacteria with your eye. Furthermore, you are increasing the chances of contracting a disease. 
  • Don't leave food out of the refrigerator for more than two hours or one hour if it is over 90°F outside. Instead, always refrigerate foods in a timely matter.
  • Never eat any raw eggs because they may contain Salmonella or other harmful bacteria. Instead, cook eggs thoroughly, avoid foods that contain raw or undercooked eggs.
  • Always marinate raw meat, seafood and poultry in the refrigerator. Otherwise of bacteria growing on meat becomes very high.
  • Cooked food is safe only after it’s been heated to a high enough internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria.
  • Illness-causing bacteria can survive in on your hands. Washing your hands the right way can stop the spread of these bacteria.
  • Sponges and kitchen cloths can hold on to harmful foodborne pathogens and cause a serious health risk. Always sanitise your sponges at least every other day and replace them every week.

Five keys to safer food

Food safety is a shared responsibility. It is important to work all along the food production chain – from farmers and manufacturers to vendors and consumers. Five keys to safer food offer practical guidance to vendors and consumers for handling and preparing food:

Key 1: Keep clean

Key 2: Separate raw and cooked food

Key 3: Cook food thoroughly

Key 4: Keep food at safe temperatures

Key 5: Use safe water and raw materials.

It is our responsibility to keep food safe and free from contamination of any kind to have a good health.