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Chapter: Modern Medical Toxicology: Food Poisons: Food Poisoning

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Prevention of Food Poisoning

Take groceries directly home and store immediately in the refrigerator.

PREVENTION OF FOOD POISONING

Buying groceries

·              Buy meat and seafood items only from hygienic outlets.

·              Do not buy items whose expiry date has elapsed.

·              Do not buy items containing undercooked or raw animal-derived ingredients.

·              Buy only pasteurised milk or cheese.

·              Do not buy eggs which are cracked or leaking.

Storage

·              Take groceries directly home and store immediately in the refrigerator.

·              Always store raw meat, poultry, or seafood in plastic bags, so that drippings do not contaminate other items in the refrigerator.

·              Hot foods should be eaten immediately, or kept hot (> 60° C), or refrigerated.

·              Do not store eggs in the egg-section of the door (provided in most refrigerators), since adequate cooling does not occur. Place them inside cartons and store them in the main section of the refrigerator.

Temperature requirements

·              Never leave cut vegetables/meat in the open. Refrigerate them, or cook them.

·              Ensure that the temperature in the main section of the refrigerator is always below 4° C, and that of the freezer is below -18° C.

·              Cook all meat and seafood thoroughly before eating. Never consume undercooked oysters, clams, mussels, sushi, or snails.

·              Cook eggs until both the yolk and white are firm. Never eat runny yolk.

·      Reheat food or heat partially cooked foods all the way through to at least 74° C.

·              If any food item looks or smells suspicious, discard it.

Hygiene

·      Wash hands, utensils, and counters with water and soap between preparation of different foods (especially raw meat, poultry, fish, eggs).

·      Use plastic or glass cutting boards for slicing vegetables or meat. Wooden boards are extremely difficult to clean adequately.

·      Wash fresh fruits and vegetables under running water.

Dining out

·      Avoid consuming uncooked animal-derived dishes (sushi, raw oysters, Hollandaise sauce, eggnog, mayonnaise, etc.).

·      Do not eat undercooked meat or poultry.

·      Do not consume egg preparations with runny yolk.

Foreign travel

a. Drink only boiled or bottled water.

Do not eat raw vegetables and salads.

c. Do not buy food items from roadside vendors.


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