Food safety can be referred to the conditions and practices that preserve the quality of food to prevent contamination and foodborne illnesses.
According to WHO, there are five key principles of food hygiene, they are:
1. Prevent contaminating food with pathogens spreading from people, pets, and pests.
2. Separate raw and cooked foods to prevent contaminating the cooked foods.
3. Cook foods for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens.
4. Store food at the proper temperature.
5. Use safe water and raw materials.
Although all foods can become contaminated, higher risk foods include red meats, poultry, eggs, cheese, dairy products, raw sprouts, and raw fish or shellfish. Hence, extra care is needed in handling, storing and preparing these items in order to avoid from severe health hazards.
Below are a few tips to prevent food poisoning:
- All milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products should have the word "Pasteurized" on the container.
- Avoid eating foods that contain raw eggs (such as caesar salad dressing, raw cookie dough, and egg nog.
- Do not eat raw honey, and honey should not be given to children under 1 year of age.
- Shun eating soft cheeses
- Do not eat raw vegetable sprouts
- Shellfish that has been exposed to red tides should not be eaten
- Make sure that you wash all raw fruits, vegetables, and herbs with cold and running water
- Do not eat raw vegetables or unpeeled fruit
- Eat only hot, freshly cooked food
- Drink only boiled water