Who hasn’t felt a little queasy after eating a sketchy burger or burrito? However, food poisoning can be much more severe than having an upset stomach. Many severe cases require a trip to the emergency room in addition to regular trips to the bathroom.
Fortunately, there are some simple tips that can keep your digestive system in good working order. Remember the following to avoid food poisoning.
Identify Foods that Could Cause Food Poisoning
Many kinds of food can become contaminated with germs, bacteria, and viruses that cause food poisoning. However, there are also some foods that pose more of a risk than others:
- Meat and poultry
Also pay attention to news stories that frequently talk about food contamination. If tomatoes are suddenly contaminated, you should avoid buying them until the government gets a handle on the problem.
Cook Your Meat and Poultry Thoroughly
Uncooked meat and poultry can cause food poisoning, so make sure everything is thoroughly cooked. You might need to use a clean thermometer to check the temperature inside. According to WebMD, you should aim for the following temperatures:
- Steak: 145 F
- Poultry: 165F
- Hamburger: 160F
- Ground chicken or turkey: 165F
Clean Properly While Cooking
The first step is to wash your hands before fixing your meal. This can help limit any transfer of bacteria or other germs that are already on your hands to the food. Wash with soap and pat your hands dry.
Also wash all raw vegetables if you don’t peel them. For example, wash your head of lettuce thoroughly before making a salad and run other vegetables under water.
Another key: keep raw foods away from each other until they are cooked. For example, don’t cut chicken on a cutting board and then cut carrots or potatoes on the same boards Instead, wash the board thoroughly with hot water and soap after cutting the chicken.
Refrigerate Leftovers Quickly
If you don’t eat everything, then make sure that leftovers get into the refrigerator or freezer in a timely manner. Your potato salad? Don’t leave it baking in the sun for hours. Ideally, you should refrigerate food within an hour of being cooked.
You also need to set your refrigerator and freezer so they are cold enough. Your fridge should be at 40F or lower. The freezer should be at 0F.
Trust Your Nose
You should never eat food that is past its expiration date or that has spoiled. Trust your nose and your eyes. Meat that has turned brown should be tossed, not eaten. Also throw out soured milk and old eggs. If you can’t tell how old something is, then don’t risk it. Go buy fresher food to consume.
Catch Food Poisoning in a Restaurant? Call Us
Your chances of getting food poisoning at a restaurant or deli are fairly slim. Nevertheless, it sometimes happens. If you’ve been hospitalized or get very sick, you could have a legal case.