High standards of personal hygiene will reduce or avoid food poisoning affecting you or a family member. The best way to prevent food poisoning is to maintain a high standard of personal and food hygiene when storing, handling and preparing food.
The Food Standards Agency recommends remembering the 4 C’s which are;
Cleaning – You should ensure that your personal hygiene is maintained, by washing your hands with soap and water, before handling food. Make sure that all cooking surfaces and utensils are clean.
Cooking – Food should be cooked thoroughly. Cut through the middle of food to make sure it is properly cooked. When cooking meats, cut through the thickest part of the meat. Meat juices should run clear, with no pink or red. If you’re eating meats like beef or lamb rare, the outsides of the meat should be cooked properly.
Chilling and storing – Check for storage instructions on the label. Leftovers should be cooled quickly and placed in the fridge or freezer.
Cross contamination – Cross contamination occurs when bacteria is transferred from different foods. To prevent this from happening, always wash your hands after handling raw food. Utensils like cutting boards and knifes, should be washed after cutting meats. Uncooked food should be placed in closed boxes to prevent it from dripping into other foods in the fridge/freezer.
When purchasing or consuming a food item, check the use by date and storage instructions. Even if the use by date is fine, if you feel that a food item does not smell or taste right, stop eating it immediately.