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How Food Safety can Prevent Foodborne Illnesses

Food safety failure can result from a number of reasons like bacteria, chemicals and toxins. However, foods that are at a risk of bacterial growth are more likely to cause ill health. In order to ensure food safety such foods need to be handled and stored correctly and even cooked to the right temperatures.

Raw Poultry

Food safety is at risk when poultry is raw or has been undercooked as it can contain campylobacter bacteria and salmonella. Even small amounts of these bacteria can cause food poisoning. These bacteria often contaminate raw meat when it’s first processed but cooking kills them. Raw poultry needs to be handled in a way that does not spread the contamination. Food preparation items that come in contact with raw poultry must be washed and sanitised like utensils, cloths, knives and chopping boards and especially hands.

Vegetables and Fruits

Some fruits and even vegetables are eaten raw or as salads and so if they contain harmful contaminants they can cause foodborne illnesses from bacteria like E. coli. Bacteria often live in soil and it could contaminate vegetables and fruits grown on ground like melons. Water and animals can also transfer harmful contaminants into vegetables. Therefore vegetables and fruits must be thoroughly washed under clean running water as that is effective in reducing bacteria and chemical pesticides as well leading to better food safety. Store fruits at the right temperature because humid and moist conditions can lead to bacterial growth.

Raw Milk

Raw milk can contain bacteria like E. coli, salmonella or listeria and so it must not be consumed raw. Pasteurisation and heating reduces health hazards as heating kills bacteria and so foodborne illnesses can be avoided.

Sprouts

Sprouts grow in a warm and wet environment and since they are eaten raw they carry the high-risk of causing foodborne illness, in particular from salmonella and E. coli. Sprouts are a food safety risk because harmful bacteria can grow easily in them. To lower the risk of foodborne illness before consuming sprouts it is advisable to cook them so as to kill harmful bacteria.

Rice

Rice is one of the most eaten foods but as far as food safety is concerned, it is a high risk food. Rice can become contaminated with bacillus cereus, which can live in uncooked rice as spores and cooking can activate them. Moist, cooked rice can become contaminated very soon and so cooked rice must be stored in temperatures below 50C so bacteria have no chance to grow.

Eggs

Eggs are a popular food as they are versatile but raw and uncooked eggs are considered a food safety risk. Salmonella bacteria can contaminate any part of the egg whether it is the yolk, white or shell. No one can differentiate between a contaminated or uncontaminated egg so avoid foods that contain raw or undercooked eggs like mayonnaise. When using raw eggs in food like cake, make sure the inside of the eggs does not touch the shell.

 

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