Food ought to taste great and be a source of nourishment, but when the opposite is the case, it becomes a source of concern. Improper food handling can make the body sick, rather than provide nourishment for the body.
Poor handling could occur either during preservation or preparation. Poor food hygiene will cause symptoms like diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and vomiting. However, food-borne illnesses can be avoided by following some safety measures and imbibing proper food handling procedures.
Safety Measures On Food Purchase: Always look out for freshness, especially when buying perishable food items. Buy fresh foods—fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy and eggs. Don't buy food items that have abnormal smell or color. Ensure that food items are clean and free from cracks or broken skin before purchase, especially for eggs and fruits. This is important because bacteria can enter through any opening on the food items. On packaged foods, read labels properly to acquaint yourself with the expiry date, how to store and prepare, as well as the ingredients of the food you are spending your money on.
Safety Measures On Food Storage: Food items should be stored at the right temperatures; 5°C for freezing and 18°C for refrigeration. This is crucial because the right temperature will help inhibit the action of microorganisms on food items, keeping your food fresh. Meat, poultry and fish should be stored in separate plastic bags, so that blood or fluid from them won't contaminate other food items. Store your non-perishable food items properly, away from the reach of household pests and rodents.
Safety Measures On Food Preparation: Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables with clean running water. Scrub farm produce—like carrots, melons, cucumbers, cabbages and the likes—to remove dirt before consumption. Maintain separate chopping boards for meat and vegetables to avoid contamination, as most vegetables are eaten raw or only half-cooked. Always wash your hands before cooking or preparing meals. Don't overcook your vegetables, add them to sauces and soups when everything else is ready and leave to steam for 2 minutes, so as not to diminish the nutritional value of the vegetables. Consume leftovers within 3-4 days or throw them away. Your health is of paramount importance, take good care of what goes into your system; handle your food the right way, and keep living the healthy life!