A lot of Californians don’t realize that getting food poisoning is much more common than it should be. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases.
Those who are particularly vulnerable to getting food poisoning include children below the age of five, adults older than 65, pregnant women, and those who have health issues. Because of how big of a problem food poisoning is, September was designated as Food Safety Awareness Month.
Food Safety Tips
One of the primary reasons people get food poisoning is because they don’t handle or prepare their food properly. To help you avoid getting sick, here are some food safety tips to follow:
- Keep meat separated: When organizing your refrigerator, make sure that uncooked meat is stored on the bottom shelf in sealed containers. This will help prevent any juices from dripping and contaminating other food. Separate your raw meat from fruits and vegetables as well to prevent them from being contaminated.
- Wash your hands: It’s important to wash your hands thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds) before and after handling food. This will help remove any harmful bacteria that could potentially cause food poisoning. Be sure to wash your hands after handling raw meat as well.
- Use sauce carefully: If you marinate your raw meat in a sauce, do not use that same sauce on any cooked food unless you boil it. Boiling it will help kill any harmful bacteria.
- Use a food thermometer: One of the best ways to ensure that your food is cooked properly is to use a food thermometer. This will help you know for sure that your food has reached a safe internal temperature.
- Keep everything clean: It’s important to keep all surfaces clean when preparing food. This includes cutting boards, countertops, knives, and any other utensils that come into contact with food (especially raw meat).