Food safety

Doctors To Youhealth, Wellness

Food safety and the overall safe handling of food is something that’s often overlooked, especially at home. But as a house call service provider, we handle countless calls from people who have been on the receiving end of poor or improper food care, and they need us to help them feel better.

National Food Safety Education is officially recognized in September, but it’s something to consider every time you put a piece of food into your mouth, so in order to keep you from having to call us for “a stomach thing,” we want to provide you with some tips and insights about food safety to keep you out of the restroom and off the phone with us.

The government’s website on food safety, foodsafety.gov, reports that “A study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals that individuals are putting themselves at risk of illness when they wash or rinse raw poultry. Do you rinse or wash raw poultry?”

They also provide a list of resources to help keep you from getting sick, and insight from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to help prevent food poisoning.




Food safety and the overall safe handling of food is something that’s often overlooked, especially at home. But as a house call service provider, we handle countless calls from people who have been on the receiving end of poor or improper food care, and they need us to help them feel better.

National Food Safety Education is officially recognized in September, but it’s something to consider every time you put a piece of food into your mouth, so in order to keep you from having to call us for “a stomach thing,” we want to provide you with some tips and insights about food safety to keep you out of the restroom and off the phone with us.

The government’s website on food safety, foodsafety.gov, reports that “A study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals that individuals are putting themselves at risk of illness when they wash or rinse raw poultry. Do you rinse or wash raw poultry?”

They also provide a list of resources to help keep you from getting sick, and insight from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to help prevent food poisoning.




What is food poisoning?

Food poisoning, which is also called food-born illness, is the result of consuming contaminated food. “Bacteria and viruses are the most common cause of food poisoning. The symptoms and severity of food poisoning vary, depending on which bacteria or virus has contaminated the food,” according to foodsafety.org.

The bacteria and viruses that cause the most illnesses, hospitalizations, or deaths in the United States are described below and include:

Remember, these are just the most common ones, but this is certainly not all of the potential poisonings you can encounter.


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Here are the best ways to avoid getting sick:

KEEP CLEAN: Make sure to keep your hands clean, as well as the surface and area where food is prepared.

MAKE SPACE: Keep raw meats away from food that’s cooked/ready to eat.

COOK THOROUGHLY: Cook your food at the proper temperature and for the best amount of time required to kill bacteria

CHILL: Keep raw meat refrigerated, and within 2 hours make sure to refrigerate your cooked foods (leftovers)

Foodsafetly.org advises the following when it comes to being a safe shopper:

  • Do not buy or use damaged, swollen, rusted, or dented cans.
  • Choose unbruised fruits and vegetables.
  • Do not buy or use cracked or unrefrigerated eggs.
  • Pick up frozen and refrigerated items just before you check out at the grocery store.
  • Refrigerate groceries right away, and never leave perishable foods out for more than 2 hours.
  • Put raw packaged meat, poultry, or seafood into a plastic bag before placing it in the shopping cart, so that its juices will not drip on and contaminate other foods.

The healthy fast food craze

The restaurant industry is changing how we get our food, and sometimes even what kinds of foods we eat--pushing healthier, whole food options to the forefront. Many of us are indulging on cuisines much different from the kinds we grew up eating, and even taking chances on more exotic dishes from other countries. This is a good thing, as it gives us the opportunity to try new things and mix up how we approach food, which can change how we see things we may think that we don’t like. 

Dubbing themselves as “fast casual”, restaurants like Chipotle popularized tex-mex, Sweet Green made salads fun and new, and everyday (it seems) there are new spots popping up that offer far more healthy choices than the fast food chains of yesterday that competed for how to give you a burger and fries.

But with the good comes the bad. Because many of these places are working with fresh, whole ingredients and not something from a bag or box, this leaves room for contamination before, during, or even after the preparation process.

Maintaining sanitary work stations and WASHING HANDS are the best ways to avoid getting yourself or others sick, especially when you’re dealing with raw foods. “To avoid E. coli infections, experts advise to thoroughly cook meat, avoid unpasteurized dairy products and juices.” Also, avoid swallowing water while swimming, and again, wash hands regularly.

What is food poisoning?

Food poisoning, which is also called food-born illness, is the result of consuming contaminated food. “Bacteria and viruses are the most common cause of food poisoning. The symptoms and severity of food poisoning vary, depending on which bacteria or virus has contaminated the food,” according to foodsafety.org.

The bacteria and viruses that cause the most illnesses, hospitalizations, or deaths in the United States are described below and include:

Remember, these are just the most common ones, but this is certainly not all of the potential poisonings you can encounter.


Image

Here are the best ways to avoid getting sick:

KEEP CLEAN: Make sure to keep your hands clean, as well as the surface and area where food is prepared.

MAKE SPACE: Keep raw meats away from food that’s cooked/ready to eat.

COOK THOROUGHLY: Cook your food at the proper temperature and for the best amount of time required to kill bacteria

CHILL: Keep raw meat refrigerated, and within 2 hours make sure to refrigerate your cooked foods (leftovers)

Foodsafetly.org advises the following when it comes to being a safe shopper:

  • Do not buy or use damaged, swollen, rusted, or dented cans.
  • Choose unbruised fruits and vegetables.
  • Do not buy or use cracked or unrefrigerated eggs.
  • Pick up frozen and refrigerated items just before you check out at the grocery store.
  • Refrigerate groceries right away, and never leave perishable foods out for more than 2 hours.
  • Put raw packaged meat, poultry, or seafood into a plastic bag before placing it in the shopping cart, so that its juices will not drip on and contaminate other foods.

The healthy fast food craze

The restaurant industry is changing how we get our food, and sometimes even what kinds of foods we eat--pushing healthier, whole food options to the forefront. Many of us are indulging on cuisines much different from the kinds we grew up eating, and even taking chances on more exotic dishes from other countries. This is a good thing, as it gives us the opportunity to try new things and mix up how we approach food, which can change how we see things we may think that we don’t like. 

Dubbing themselves as “fast casual”, restaurants like Chipotle popularized tex-mex, Sweet Green made salads fun and new, and everyday (it seems) there are new spots popping up that offer far more healthy choices than the fast food chains of yesterday that competed for how to give you a burger and fries.

But with the good comes the bad. Because many of these places are working with fresh, whole ingredients and not something from a bag or box, this leaves room for contamination before, during, or even after the preparation process.

Maintaining sanitary work stations and WASHING HANDS are the best ways to avoid getting yourself or others sick, especially when you’re dealing with raw foods. “To avoid E. coli infections, experts advise to thoroughly cook meat, avoid unpasteurized dairy products and juices.” Also, avoid swallowing water while swimming, and again, wash hands regularly.





The takeaways:

We’ve all had a bout with food poisoning at one time or another in our lives, and it’s not something anyone would ever want to go through twice. But with increasingly busy schedules and restaurants cooking our food more and more, it’s impossible to know the measures they’re taking to keep us safe.

Are they washing their hands?

Are they keeping surfaces clean?

Are they making sure raw and cooked foods are not being cross-contaminated?

We certainly can’t avoid everything, but what we can do is play our part in making sure we take the proper precautions when it’s in our control.




The takeaways:

We’ve all had a bout with food poisoning at one time or another in our lives, and it’s not something anyone would ever want to go through twice. But with increasingly busy schedules and restaurants cooking our food more and more, it’s impossible to know the measures they’re taking to keep us safe.

Are they washing their hands?

Are they keeping surfaces clean?

Are they making sure raw and cooked foods are not being cross-contaminated?

We certainly can’t avoid everything, but what we can do is play our part in making sure we take the proper precautions when it’s in our control.