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 All of us love eating a variety of foods, but little do we think how safe is our food? Why is food safety so important? It is very important to know how safe is the food that we are eating as proper food preparation protects against various food borne diseases from bacteria that often leads to diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, dehydration, vomiting, nausea etc.


Some we even forget to check the expiry date written on the packed or frozen foods. Food safety includes knowing how to select the right foods in a grocery store, storing them properly and cooking them safely etc. Every year, thousands of people experience episodes of food borne illness.


The recent WHO research states that there are an estimated of 582 million cases of 22 different food borne diseases and 3, 51,000 associated deaths. Over 40% of children are suffering from contaminated food diseases. Generally as food changes hands, bacteria, viruses and pathogens are transferred which lead to food poisoning, diarrhea, dehydration and Hepatitis C. Hence contamination and adulteration of food has become a major worry thus there is a massive need for safety terms and proper distribution of food.


Experts suggest that food must be cooked at 70 deg C. Cooking food at the right temperature is of great significance to prevent food contamination. The right temperature for cooking foods must be 70 deg C whether it is baking, boiling, frying or grilling.


This temperature ensures that the heat penetrates to each part of the food and thus kills the bacteria. It is important that we eat fresh hot food daily. It is always recommended that non-vegetarian food must be cooked. In undercooked or uncooked non-vegetarian food there are chances of pathogens which grow rapidly causing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Salmonella is one of the most common bacterial causes of diarrhea and lives in the intestinal tract of humans. Listed below are some easy foods handling tips that you could follow to keep your food safe.


  1. Firstly buying safe food is the most important step. You must ensure that the food is fresh being it vegetarian or non-vegetarian. If you are into purchasing packaged meat, poultry or fish then check the expiry date on the label.
  2. Do not buy unpasteurized ciders or juice as they can contain harmful bacteria.
  3. Buy fruits that are fresh and not cut or with broken skin as this would allow bacteria to enter and contaminate the fruit.
  4. Wash the vegetables and fruit thoroughly under running water as it helps remove any pesticide residue, dirt or bacteria.
  5. Wash watermelons and cantaloupes before eating and then cut.
  6. Raw foods like greens such as lettuce, cabbage, carrot, beetroot etc may be contaminated with low dose pathogens and must always be double washed under running water before eating.
  7. Generally the temperatures that favor bacterial growth range from 4 to 60 deg C. Hence hot food should be kept hot while cold foods be kept cold so that bacteria is destroyed and does not.
  8. Cover or put meat, poultry, and fish in separate plastic bags so that their juices don't get on your other foods. Freeze or cook raw ground meat, fish within 1 to 2 days while fresh meat like steaks, roasts and chops can be stored within 3 to 5 days.
  9. Never cut fruit or vegetables on a board that has been used to cut raw meat.
  10. Leftover sauces or marinades should never be used for a second meal unless sterilized.
  11. Throw away any leftover uncooked meat, fish or poultry marinades.


Food spoilage can occur anytime such as during handling food, preparation of food and storage of food. Following these simple and easy precautions could aid in reducing the chance of food borne illnesses in your family.

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