Food handling and food safety at home Food handling and food safety at home

Food handling and food safety at home

Special 13 February, 2018 Maria Clara Restrepo E.

Foodborne illnesses can be easily prevented. We all have the responsibility to implement food safety practices.

The term “innocuous” is used to refer to everything we eat that does not the harm us. According to the World Health Organization, 1 of every 10 people suffer from some type of foodborne illness. If these foods have been contaminated with viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites, they can lead to infection. They can also affect other systems or cause food poisoning as a result of the toxins that form in the tissues.

Throughout the entire agro-industrial process, different factors influence how innocuous the food product is. Government agencies and large businesses in the food production industry operate under strict regulations that guarantee the quality of the products their clients consume. Once these products reach the hands of consumers, however, these regulations cannot be enforced. The WHO estimates that most cases of foodborne illnesses can be prevented if the food is prepared correctly.

The following are some recommendations from the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Colombia:

  •  Make a plan when you go shopping. Start with the products that don’t require refrigeration and end with those that do.
  • Buy from establishments you trust that handle and preserve products correctly.
  • Pay attention to expiration dates. Do not buy items that will expire soon.
  • When cooking, make sure you are working with clean cooking surfaces, utensils and foods, and that you have washed your hands.
  • To prevent cross-contamination, separate raw foods from cooked foods. Use different containers and store them in different areas in the fridge. Also read: Proper refrigeration.
  • Closely follow the cold chain (chilling) instructions for frozen and refrigerated foods.