How to Avoid Food Poisoning

CreateTime:2015-12-04 Count:897

1. Shop with care. Food safety begins at the grocery store, so make sure to shop wisely:
Check the use-by dates on all products and use your judgement to decide if foods have been stored at the correct temperatures.
Pack meat and poultry products into separate bags and do not let the raw flesh touch any other food products as you shop or bring them home.
Maintain the cold chain. Keep cold and frozen foods as cold as possible, especially when transferring from the store to your home:
Wrap the goods in newspaper or buy a small cooler bag to transport your cold and frozen foods home.
When possible, leave grabbing cold products to the end of your shopping.
Store all foods properly and quickly when you get back home.


Always wash your hands before and after preparing foods. Wash your hands thoroughly with hot water and antibacterial soap before and after preparing food, especially after handling raw meat.
Keep dish cloths and hand towels regularly cleaned to prevent bacteria from accumulating on the fabric.

Always wash your hands after handling pets (especially reptiles, turtles and birds) and after using the bathroom or handling pet litter.
Keep your kitchen clean. It's very important to keep your kitchen counters and other food preparation areas clean, especially when preparing high-risk food items like meat, poultry and eggs.
It's not necessary to use a disinfectant, a mild solution of hot water and soap will sufficiently clean your counters, cutting boards and utensils.
Also make sure to rinse down sinks after washing raw meat products -- you don't want bacteria being transferred to any clean dishes.
Use separate chopping boards for preparing raw meat/poultry and vegetables. Keep these boards separate to avoid any possibility of cross-contamination of bacteria from meat to other food products.
If you cannot keep separate chopping boards, make sure to disinfect a multi-purpose chopping board thoroughly after each use (see bleach recipe in "Tips").
Plastic chopping boards are recommended over wooden chopping boards, as the wooden ones are harder to clean.
Defrost carefully. You should never defrost food (especially meat and poultry) at room temperature just to speed up the process.
Food should always be thawed in the refrigerator, as thawing at room temperature allows the surface of the food to warm up too quickly, promoting bacteria growth.
Alternatively, you can defrost foods using the "defrost" or "50 percent power" setting on your microwave. You can also safely defrost food by holding them under cold running water.[1]
Once foods have been completely thawed, they should be used promptly -- they should never be refrozen without being cooked first.
Cook foods thoroughly. This is especially important for red meat, poultry and eggs, which are considered high-risk foods.
Cooking these foods all the way through will destroy harmful germs. Consult a cookbook fr the correct cooking times (taking the weight of the food and the temperature of your oven into account).
Use a meat thermometer if you have any doubts about how long to cook something -- this can take a lot of the uncertainty out of cooking meats. Chicken and turkey are cooked when they reach a temperature of 165°F, steaks are cooked at 145°F and hamburgers are coked at 160°F.[2]
Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Bacteria multiply fastest between 40°F and 140°F, so it's important to keep foods either above or below these temperatures.
You should make sure your fridge is set at a temperature of 4°C/ 40°F or less and that cooked food reaches a temperature of at least 165°F
Reheat leftovers thoroughly before serving. Leftovers that have been reheated poorly can still contain active food pathogens. Moreover, if leftovers have gone bad, no amount of reheating will make them safe.
Do not keep leftovers for too long. Any signs of discoloration, sliminess, growth of mold etc. are signals to discard or compost the leftovers.
Never reheat leftovers more than once and never refreeze food without changing its state! (i.e. you can safely freeze raw food, defrost the raw food, cook the food, refreeze the cooked food and defrost/reheat the cooked food. However, if any of the reheated cooked food is left over, throw it away or there is a very high chance of getting sick!

Copyright © | Bor S. Luh Food Safety Research Center  of Shanghai Jiao Tong University 2015