We all have to eat and most of us prepare meals for ourselves, our family and friends, while some of us make our living preparing food for others. How we handle the food we prepare and eat can result in a safe and tasty meal, or it may result in making ourselves and others sick.
When food is not handled safely from the time we buy it, store, prepare, cook, cool and serve it, a tasty meal can result in food borne illness. Symptoms of food borne illness may include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fever and may last for a few hours to many days. It only makes sense to follow safe food handling practices every time we handle food. By following the steps listed below you will be able to reduce the chances of getting sick.
- Separate: Keep raw and ready to eat foods separate when you shop, store and prepare foods
- Clean: Wash hands, fruits and veggies, counter tops and utensils before you start preparing food and between tasks
- Cook: Cook foods to the recommended temperature and keep hot foods hot at 60°C or higher
- Chill: Cool foods in shallow containers and keep cold foods at 4°C or lower
Germs that cause food borne illness do not taste or smell bad, so we might not know they are in our food. A slip-up in any of the above steps can allow them to grow to numbers that can make us sick.
Helpful Links to Food Safety Information
The following links will help you learn what you can do to make safe meals for yourself, your family and friends.
Food Safety Tips for Meat and Protein Rich Foods
Food Safety Tips for Fruits, Vegetables and Juices
Food Safety Tips while Eating Away from Home
Allergic reactions to food can cause digestive problems, swelling of the tongue, eyes and face, rashes and hives, breathing problems, and a drop in blood pressure. When someone who has food allergies comes into contact with an allergen the reaction can become serious very quickly.
In this section you will learn what the 10 most common food allergens are:
Food Safety Tips for People at Higher Risk of Food Borne Illness
Some people are at higher risk of becoming very sick if they eat food that causes a food borne illness. These guides offer helpful advice on how to reduce your risk of food poisoning.