Foodborne Illness: Common Foodborne Illness Prevention Steps

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around 76 million people suffer from foodborne illnesses in the United States and an estimated 5,000 die. Foodborne illness is caused due to consuming contaminated food or beverages. These items contain bacteria, viruses or parasites that are harmful for the body. By following simple foodborne illness prevention steps one can avoid falling prey to these life-threatening illnesses.

Common Foodborne Illness Prevention Steps

We can prevent many foodborne illnesses simply by proper processing and cooking of food.(Isn’t that simple?) Besides this, one can follow some common foodborne illness prevention steps given below:

  • Keep the food out of the temperature range of 40°F and 140°F.
  • By refrigerating the food properly and promptly we can prevent foodborne illnesses.
  • Heat the food for a long time. Ensure that you cook it at a required temperature to remove bacteria.
  • Keep poultry, raw meat and seafood away from the other foods to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Wash the hands thoroughly for 10 to 30 seconds with soap and water at the beginning and end of cooking.
  • Sanitizing the utensils with bleach after cooking is a good foodborne illness prevention tip.
  • Wash towels and sponges in water, preferably hot, at least once in a week.
  • Cold food should be kept cold and likewise, hot food should remain hot.
  • Use refrigerator, microwave oven or plain running cold water to defrost food.
  • Refrigerate food while marinating.
  • Wash vegetables and fruits properly with water before eating or cooking them.
  • Stuffing should be removed from the poultry and other meat products before refrigerating them separately.
  • Never cover the refrigerator. Let air circulate around it.

By following these simple foodborne illness prevention steps you will safeguard yourself from most of the foodborne illnesses.

Symptoms of foodborne illnesses

Some of the symptoms of foodborne illnesses are:

  • Blood in stools
  • High fever
  • Prolonged diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe dehydration
  • Dry mouth
  • Sticky saliva
  • Decreased urination
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Sunken eyes
  • Low blood pressure
  • Increased heart or breathing rate
  • Shallow breathing
  • Confusion
  • Rapid or weak pulse

Consult a doctor immediately if you experience one or more symptoms mentioned above.


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