Food poisoning is not much fun. Invariably it involves long sessions sitting in front of or on a toilet. Assuming you only have a mild case of food poisoning, you should begin to feel better after a few days, but if you are unlucky enough to catch something serious like E-coli you may end up in hospital, or worse, dead.
Although it is possible to fall ill from food poisoning at home, you are just as likely to fall ill with a dose of food poisoning when eating out at a restaurant or buying a takeaway from a fast food outlet. Germs can be anywhere if the kitchen where the food is prepared is dirty or basic food hygiene is not practiced. So how can you avoid a dose of food poisoning?
Wash Your Hands
Washing hands frequently is the best way to avoid a dose of food poisoning. You don’t need to be OCD about it, but it is common sense to wash hands before preparing food, in between handling different foods, after touching pets, and certainly after going to the toilet or blowing your nose. Use hot water and soap to wash your hands and make sure you dry them thoroughly on a clean towel.
Keep Work Surfaces Clean
Kitchen worktops need to be kept clean at all times, but especially before food is prepared. It is also wise to clean worktops before and after preparing raw food, particularly meat and poultry. A bottle of antibacterial spray is a useful kitchen accessory, but hot soapy water will be just as effective at killing germs on work surfaces. Food storage areas in general need to be kept clean and disinfected.
Wash Dishcloths Regularly
Using the same dish cloth every day is not a good idea. Damp cloths soon become breeding grounds for germs and microbes. Ideally wash cloths and tea towels frequently. Ironing tea towels is a good way of ensuring they are sterilised before you use them again.
Store Food Correctly
Food should always be stored correctly. Raw meat needs to be kept away from cooked food and ready to eat products. This includes salads, bread, dairy and fruit. Raw meat needs to be covered up at all times and preferably kept on the bottom shelf of a fridge or cold store.
Cook Food Thoroughly
Food must be cooked thoroughly before being eaten. This applies to poultry and other meat products in particular since raw meat often contains harmful bacteria that can only be killed by the cooking process. Check the cooking time and make sure juices run clear. If meat is still pink in the middle, cook it for longer.
Avoid Buying Food from Dodgy Takeaways
Take a good look around before buying food from a dodgy takeaway. If the premises look dirty and the people working there do not seem to be too bothered about food hygiene, walk away before you end up spending the next few days in bed feeling very sick; or worse, you ending up in hospital on a drip.
If you follow these simple tips, you should successfully avoid food poisoning. If in doubt, look at how a commercial kitchen is set up. Proclad PVC panels are a popular choice in commercial kitchen environments because they are easy to clean and far more hygienic than other surfaces; they can also be used in a domestic setting.