In medical school they taught us that in seventy-five percent of the cases where people think they have the stomach flu they actually have food poisoning. Yikes!
Fortunately, avoiding contaminated food is far easier than avoiding a stomach bug; people with the stomach flu are most contagious before they have any symptoms.
However, there are easy precautions you can take to help protect your family from food poisoning.
The ones I always employ are the following:
- As always, wash your hands! This is both prior to working with foods as well as after … especially if handling items such as meats.
- Store foods that are most likely to become contaminated, such as meats and milk, in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
- Put leftovers away while still warm; letting them cool prior to refrigeration allows some pathogens to grow.
- Make sure all meat is thoroughly cooked; a meat thermometer is particularly helpful to ensure this.
- Thoroughly disinfect cutting boards; it is extra prudent to have one specifically dedicated to meat.
- Wash fresh fruits and vegetables very well prior to eating.
- Be wary of products containing mayonnaise that have been sitting unrefrigerated for any length of time. Very, very wary!
- Sadly, no eating cookie dough if there are eggs in the mix; raw eggs are a no-no!
Taking these steps will go a long way in keeping your family safe from dreaded food poisoning!