- Food poisoning/food borne illness occurs when food contaminated by bacteria, parasite or virus is eaten.
- Children under 5 years old, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with weak immune systems are more likely to get sick and experience a more severe illness.
- It could take up to hours or days before you start to develop symptoms
- The most common symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain and cramps
Common foods linked to food poisoning/food borne illness
- Raw poultry and meat
- Fruits and vegetables
- Raw milk, cheese, and other dairy products
- Raw eggs
- Raw shellfish
Tips to prevent food poisoning/food borne illness
- Check the expiration dates on all foods
- Do not sue canned goods with bulges, leaks or dents
- Wash your hands and cooking surfaces often
- Wash all utensils and cutting boards after they come in contact with raw meat or poultry before they touch other food.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly to remove all visible dirt, and discard the outermost leaves of lettuce and cabbage.
- Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate to prevent cross-contamination.
- Use one plate for raw meat and another plate for cooked meat
- Cook meat, poultry, and seafood thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to ensure food is cooked to a safe internal temperature.
- Refrigerate or freeze perishable foods within 2 hours after buying or preparing.
- Thaw frozen foods safely:
- In the refrigerator: don’t allow the juices to drip on other foods, cook within 1 – 2 days
- In cold water: place food in a sealed plastic bag and immerse in cold water; change the water every 30 minutes. Or run cold water on the sealed package of food. Cook immediately.
- In the microwave: use the “defrost” setting to avoid cooking the edges of the food. Cook immediately.
- Make sure food is kept at the proper temperatures after it has been prepared
- If hot food must be left out for longer than 2 hours, use warming trays, slow cookers, or chafing dishes to keep the food hot
- If cold food must be left out for longer than 2 hours, use a cooler or ice bucket