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Food Safety at Home is Important

A new study reveals that about half of food poisoning incidences are attributable to fruits and vegetables while contaminated poultry have mostly resulted to death.  As such, Americans are encouraged to practice safe food-handling procedures as protection against foodborne illnesses.

While the use of hand sanitizers may help in reducing the spread of germs, washing of hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water is still the best and foremost thing to do to stay healthy and to avoid noroviruses, according to Rachel Begun, registered dietician.

Begun offers the following advice on food safety:

For fruits and vegetables, be sure to wash them properly (with or without peel), with cool tap water. Dry them with a paper towel or clean cloth to further eliminate presence of bacteria. Avoid eating bruised or damaged areas. Dispose the outer leaves of lettuce. Use a cutting board dedicated to fruits and vegetables only. Raw sprouts such as clover and alfalfa should be cooked to reduce risk of illness.

For poultry and meat, always look for the Safe Food Handling label on the package. Ensure that meat is tightly wrapped when buying and handling meat. Thoroughly wash hands for 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat. Avoid cross contamination by separating the cutting board for raw meats and fish.

Meat should be stored in the coolest part of the refrigerator (40°F and below).  After purchase, consume meats within 3-4 days, and fresh, raw chicken within 1-2 days.  Discard sausage, ground and organ meats after two days.  Consume or freeze cooked meats within 3-4 days.

Meats should only be defrosted in the refrigerator or microwave. Immediately cook meat that has been thawed in the microwave. Do not refreeze thawed meat. Use food thermometer to ensure meats are cooked at the right and safe temperature.



Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Which foods make Americans ill? Whether chicken or salad, food safety at home is key to avoiding illness. ScienceDaily.


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