Preventing Food Poisoning

By Kangpe Healthcare Services
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Food poisoning is a common illness caused by eating contaminated food. This easily preventable illness is not usually serious with most people getting better in a short period without treatment. However, in some rare cases, you may need to consult a doctor for treatment.

Food poisoning is usually caused by food contaminated with a virus such as the norovirus or bacteria such as E Coli or Salmonella.
The main symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, muscles aches, diarrhoea, nausea, fever, stomach cramps and abdominal pain.

Food can become contaminated at any stage during sale, processing, production or cooking. Some foods that easily get contaminated when mishandled include raw meat, poultry products, unpasteurized milk, raw shellfish, sandwiches, and cheese.

Below are some tips for preventing Food poisoning

Respect expiry date tags
Whenever you purchase packaged food always be on the lookout for its expiry date. Do not eat expired food even when it looks good or smells okay.
Expiry or use-by dates is determined by health regulatory agencies like NAFDAC for your protection.

Always wash your hands
Ensure you wash both hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching the bin, visiting the toilet, sneezing, blowing your nose, petting animal, before handling food and after handling food.

Keep your fridge chilled
Always ensure your refrigerator functions properly and cools below 5C. At this temperature, germs are inhibited from multiplying or growing.

Wash kitchen napkins regularly
Always wash kitchen napkins and dishcloth regularly, and allow the dry properly before the next use. Dirty and moist clothes create the perfect environment for bacteria to flourish.

Refrigerate leftover food quickly
If you cooked food you don’t intend to eat immediately, keep it refrigerated as soon as possible (within 2 hours).

Cooking food thoroughly
Always cook food thoroughly if its source could be contaminated. Most of the time the hygiene condition of our local abattoirs and meat seller essentially means we are buying contaminated meat. Always cook meat at high temperatures to eliminate harmful germs.

Storing meat appropriately
Take extra caution when storing raw meat; always keep raw meat away from bread, salad, and fruits in the fridge. You have to keep them separate because these are foods that you can’t cook before eating.

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Published Friday, November 10th 2017

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