Safe food preparation is crucial to avoid food borne illness especially food poisoning episode.

Factors that contribute to food poisoning are :

  1. Food which is contaminated with micro-organisms from :
  • faeces
  • soil
  • water
  • rats, mice
  • insects and pests
  • domestic farm animals
  • humans, through their hands.
  1. Micro-organism are able to grow and multiple in your foods. To multiply, micro-organisms need :
  • food
  • water
  • time
  • suitable temperature.
  1. Your hand is one of the common means of transferring micro-organisms from one place to another.

Hence, food poisoning can be avoided by practicing the 5 guides to safer food.

Symptoms

The symptoms for food poisoning are :

  • stomach pains
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea.

The symptoms may occur very quickly after eating the food, or symptoms occur 24-72 hours after the food has been eaten.

Foodborne disease can lead to long term health problems. Very severe diseases can be caused by contaminated food including :

  • cancer
  • arthritis
  • neurological disorders.

Food poisoning should not be taken lightly because it may cause death.

GUIDANCE

1. Keep Clean

What should you do?

  • Wash your hands before handling food and often during food preparation.
  • Wash your hands after going to the toilet.
  • Wash and sanitize all surfaces and equipment used for food preparation properly.
  • Protect kitchen areas and food from insects, pests and other animals.

7 Steps To Wash Your Hands

Why?

While most micro-organisms do not cause disease, dangerous micro-organisms are widely found in :

  • soil
  • water
  • animals
  • people.

These micro-organism are carried on :

  • hands
  • wiping cloths
  • utensils, especially cutting boards.

The slightest contact can transfer them to food and cause food borne diseases.

2. Separate Raw and Cooked Food

What should you do?

  • Separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from cooked foods or other foods consumed raw such as salad or cut fruits.
  • Use separate equipment and utensils such as knives and cutting boards for handling raw foods.
  • Store food in covered containers to avoid contact between raw and prepared foods.

Why?

Raw food, especially meat, poultry and seafood, and their juices may contain dangerous micro-organisms which may be transferred onto other foods during food preparation and storage.

3. Cook Thoroughly

What should you do?

  • Cook food thoroughly, especially meat, poultry, egg and seafood.
  • Bring foods like soups and stews to boiling. For meat and poultry, make sure that juices are clear, not pink.
  • Reheat cooked food thoroughly.
  • Cook minced meat, rolled roasts large joints of meat and whole poultry thoroughly.

Why?

  • Proper cooking kills almost all dangerous micro-organisms.
    • Studies have shown that cooking food to a temperature of 70°C can help to ensure it is safe for consumption.

4. Keep Food At Safe Temperature

What should you do?

  • Refrigerate promptly all cooked and perishable food (preferably 5°C).
  • Keep cooked food piping hot (above 60°C prior to serving).
  • Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Do not store leftover food in the refrigerator for longer than 3 days.
  • Do not thaw frozen food at room temperature.

Why?

  • Micro-organisms can multiply very quickly in food stored at room temperatures. The growth of micro-organisms is slowed down below 5°C or above 60°C.
  • Some dangerous micro-organisms still grow below 5°C.

5. Use Safe Water and Raw Materials

What should you do?

  • Use safe water or treat it to make it safe.
  • Select fresh and wholesome foods.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables, especially if eaten raw
  • Wash and peel fruits.
  • Do not use food beyond its expiry date.

Why?

  • Raw materials, including water and ice, may be contaminated with dangerous microorganisms and chemicals.
  • Toxic chemicals may be formed in damaged and mouldy foods.

5 Guide To Safer Food

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