One in six people develops food poisoning each year. Food poisoning cases spike during the summer months. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take in order to prevent food poisoning.
Many people defrost meat by putting it on the counter or allowing it to set in hot water. However, this is dangerous because it can cause bacteria to grow on the meat. The best way to defrost meat is in cold water. Change out the water every 30 minutes. It is possible to cook the meat without thawing, but it will take much longer to cook.
Marinade Your Meat
Adding lemon juice or vinegar to your meat can make it safer for you to eat. Marinating the meat makes it acidic. This will prevent the bacteria from growing as fast. You will need to let the meat marinate in the refrigerator. Cubed meats and poultry can marinate for two days. Lamb, pork and beef can marinate up to five days.
Cook Meat Properly
You will need to use a food thermometer to ensure that your food is fully-cooked. Contrary to popular belief, you will not be able to tell whether meat is done just by looking at it. The temperature of beef, pork and fish should reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Hamburgers should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Turkey and chicken should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you smoke meat, then you will need to keep the temperature between 225 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. All meat should be served while it is hot.
Wash Your Vegetables
Leafy greens are vulnerable to bacterial infections. Bagged vegetables are at a greater risk for having bacteria. Even if the bag says that it has been pre-washed, you will need to wash it. Refrigerate the vegetables within two hours of buying it. Eat the vegetables within one week of buying them.
Wash Your Hands
You will need to wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. Use warm water and soap to wash your hands. If you do not have any soap and water available, then you will need to use a hand sanitizer. Use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol.
Keep Food out of the Danger Zone
Bacteria can grow on food when it is exposed to temperatures that is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If a perishable product is left at room temperature for more than two hours, then it can easily develop bacteria. You should keep your food in an insulated bag if you have a lengthy commute.
Do not Cross-Contaminate
You do not want raw meat to come in contact with meat that you have cooked. Meat should be put on a plate after it has been cooked. You should also use different utensils when preparing raw meat.