Eating safely simply means that food must adequately be prepared under conditions that do not allow bacteria to grow in the food.
Let’s consider the following suggestions for safe eating and wisely make application in your home where necessary.
1. Wash your hands
Important to wash your hands with soap before handling food. Avoid coughing or sneezing over any food. please ensure to bandage any hand injuries.
Do not touch your hair or wiping your nose while handling food. After using the toilet or handling animals, ensure to wash your hands before touching the food again.
2. Wash the Food
Wash the food you are going to prepare. How do I mean? Please, never use fresh fruits and vegetables directly from the market or your own garden without washing them, even if they will be cooked. The water used for washing should be clean.
Always scrub the unpeeled vegetables and fruits that are to be eaten raw (preferably with a vegetable brush). Why? In other to remove dirt as well pesticides residue.
Leafy vegetables, such as spinach and lettuce, should be thoroughly washed to remove sand and soil.
If you reside in a tropical area where parasites such as intestinal worms and flukes are common, then all fresh fruits and vegetables that will be served raw or only lightly cooked should be washed in clean water with a small amount of disinfectant added to kill these organisms.
One common example of disinfectant is hypochlorite, marked under a variety of brand names.
Normally, a small amount is dissolved in clean water and the fruits and vegetables are submerged. The food can then be washed off with plain, clean water before it is eaten.
3. Thoroughly cook
Please thoroughly cook all fish, meat and poultry to destroy harmful organisms. Frozen meat and poultry should warm enough that the ice melt out completely, before cooking it, so that heat can penetrate to the center.
Pigs may be infected with trichina worms and humans who eat improperly cooked pork may develop trichinosis. Trichina worms can be killed by thorough cooking at high heat, but other processing methods, such as smoking and pickling, do not kill them.
Shellfish and fish may harbor liver or lung flukes. If the fish is not cooked properly, the liver or lung flukes can be passed into the human system. Salting, pickling or soaking them in rice wine is not sufficient to kill such parasites.
Although raw fish and shellfish are customarily eaten in some cultures, caution should be exercised if water pollution is severe.
4. When water is from a questionable source
Boil your water before consumption for at least 15 minutes, where water contamination is severe.
In some countries contaminated water spreads jaundice, typhoid, cholera, bacillary dysentery and amoebic dysentery, among other diseases.
In some places even city water supplies cannot be assumed to be safe. Once water is boiled, store it in clean, covered vessels.
In some areas, filtering of water is also recommended. Filtering removes suspended particles and contaminants, but it usually does not get rid of harmful bacteria.
However, some new filters and attachment evidently do remove harmful bacteria, although they are relatively expensive, and if they are not regularly changed, they themselves may contaminate.
5. Keep flies away from food
Flies may carry germs that may carry germs that cause typhoid, diphtheria, scarlet fever, cholera. They can also transmit the virus of polio and the eggs of intestinal worms and parasites.
The best way to deal with flies around the home is to keep them from breeding. You can examine your own situation and see if refuse needs to be cleaned up.
Containers for garbage should be properly covered and disinfected. Never allow anyone to dump filth near your living quarters. Manure should be covered or disposed of, so that flies cannot breed there.
6. Eat food soon after it is cooked
Especially during hot weather, harmful bacteria does multiply. If you want to prepare food early and eat later, then chill the food after cooking it and thoroughly reheat it before serving.
Cooked food should be kept sufficiently hot ( above 140°F. [ 60 °C]) or cold (below 50°F. [10 °C]). The danger zone-where bacteria will grow and multiply- is in between. Meaning that the leftovers should not be kept if they cannot be chilled.
If you have no refrigeration, cook enough for one meal only. In some lands herbs and spices are often contaminated with bacteria. So these should be added to food at the beginning of cooking to receive full heat treatment.
7. Keep your kitchen clean
This includes your your clothes, cooking utensils and you. If you normally cook and prepare food on the floor, make it a habit in your family to remove street shoes before entering the cooking area.
Pets and other animals should be kept away from food-preparation areas. Shoes can carry diseases from contact with human and animal fecal matter and contaminate the food you work so hard to prepare.
8. Wash dishes with hot water and soap
If you are washing a number of cooking utensils, discard the water when it gets dirty and replace it with clean hot water and soap. Dry dishes with clean cloths, or let them air-dry in an area away from dust and insects.
In many lands, utensils are scrubbed with ash, rinsed with water, and dried in the sun. This produces satisfactory results where soap is not economical to use, as the alkaline ash kills microorganisms, and the heat and ultraviolet Ray’s of the sun sanitize the utensils.
Outside Your Home
At restaurants or large gatherings where food is served buffet or cafeteria style, try to choose foods that appear to be either very hot or cold. If you note that food has been sitting out at room temperature for a long time in hot weather, it maybe best to avoid it.
Since it costs money to boil water, many restaurants in developing lands do not boil the drinking water served to their customers, so it is safer not to drink. Moreover, avoid juices or drinks that require added water or ice. Bottled drinks and hot drinks are generally safer.
Almost everyone delights in eating well-prepared and tasty food. However, exercise good judgement and care when handling and selecting food. Then enjoy safe eating.!