Dietitian Salih Gürel gave information about food poisoning which increases in summer and ways to prevent it.
Adequate and balanced nutrition is necessary for sustaining life and maintaining health. Safe food consumption in nutrition is also very important. But; Foods, which are the basic ingredients of our lives, can become harmful and pose a hidden danger to our health due to insufficient hygienic conditions during the stages from purchasing to consumption. Bacteria and their toxins (poisons), which threaten our health and are the cause of many food-borne poisonings, find a suitable environment for reproduction, especially with the increase in temperatures, and the incidence of food-borne poisoning increases in summer. In the summer months, on the one hand, in cases where environmental and hygienic conditions are not good, classical factors cause widespread infection and cause diarrhea, while seriously threatening public health, on the other hand, unhealthy food storage environments, mistakes in food preparation and cooking can cause food-borne diseases to become widespread.
Among the factors that cause food-borne poisoning; chemicals, natural food toxins, parasites and microorganisms. Among microorganisms, especially bacteria, are responsible for many food-borne diseases. Bacteria that reproduce in foods that are generally prepared and cooked in unsuitable hygienic conditions cause food poisoning.
Food poisoning is the general name given to the infection or poisoning that occurs as a result of the consumption of any food or beverage.
What are the Ways to Prevent Food Poisoning?
- Cooking the meals as close to the service as possible and consuming the cooked food without waiting.
- To cool the food that will not be consumed immediately after cooking (on the counter or on the stove for not more than 2 hours) and keep it in the refrigerator until it is served again.
- Leftovers from the food should be immediately put in the refrigerator and heated up to 75°C before serving.
- Not using unpasteurized milk and dairy products.
- Washing vegetables and fruits thoroughly in plenty of water.
- It is to buy drinking water from reliable sources, and to consume it by boiling if it is not sure of its reliability.
- When purchasing frozen foods, care should be taken that the cold chain is not broken. Never buy ice crystals in the package.
- Especially frozen foods should be stored in their original packages at temperatures of -18 C and below.
- Frozen food should be thawed properly. Frozen and thawed foods should not be re-frozen.
- When purchasing canned food, those with swollen upper and lower lids, damaged boxes, loosened, broken or cracked lids should not be purchased.
- It is not recommended to make canned food at home, considering that it will be hygienically inconvenient. If it is being made, the principles of canning should be followed carefully.
- Personal hygiene rules must be followed in the preparation, cooking and serving of food.
- The food should not be tasted with the utensils used to mix the food.
- Hands should be washed frequently in accordance with the method.
- Keeping nails short and clean; nail polish, wedding rings and jewelry should not be used while dealing with food.
- It is necessary to buy meat and meat products from reliable places.
- Broken, cracked, fecal-contaminated eggs should not be purchased.
- Eggs must be washed before use.
- Different knives and chopping boards should be used when preparing raw and cooked meats.
- Marinated meat should be stored in the refrigerator until cooked.
- After handling raw meat, eggs and poultry, hands should be washed with hot soapy water.
- After each use, all tools and surfaces should be washed thoroughly with hot water with detergent.