Food in poor condition is responsible for diseases related to its consumption, a threat to food safety that is considered one of the main public health problems. To do this, it is key to follow the following basic but effective guidelines:
. BUY PROPERLY. Food safety begins at the time of purchase. When purchasing foods, refrigerated and frozen foods, as well as perishable items, should be left for last. In addition, during the purchase, special attention should be paid to the labeling, especially the information that refers to the expiration date.
. TO WASH. Food such as lettuce or fruit must always be washed, even if it is to be peeled. Ready-to-eat packaged salads can also be washed, as further handling afterwards can introduce new contaminants.
. KNOW HOW TO DEFROST. Food should never be thawed at room temperature, but should be done in the refrigerator to prevent bacteria from growing. Specific utensils for raw meat and others for cooking should be used, as well as washing the sink after use.
. AVOID RAW EGGS. This food is related to an important part of food poisoning, especially caused by Salmonella. For this reason, it is essential to avoid the consumption of this raw food, as well as to take extreme precautions in preparations such as mayonnaise or other sauces that contain eggs.
. CONTROL THE TEMPERATURE. Appearances can be deceiving when cooking raw meat. Foods such as chicken breasts, steaks, or hamburgers should be well cooked. Bacteria multiply faster between 4ºC and 140ºC. Therefore, food must be kept at these temperatures for the shortest possible time.
SOURCE OF BACTERIA
When in doubt, discard food scraps. They can be a source of foodborne bacteria. The golden rule is not to leave the remains at room temperature for more than two hours and to freeze them before four days. Sometimes the smell or taste of a contaminated food may not be altered.