How to Avoid Food Poisoning

Food poisoning happens when someone eats contaminated food. Although food poisoning is not a serious illness, it can cause serious discomfort to the affected person.

In Kenya many cases of food poisoning go unreported because people suffer silently. Food poisoning is only reported when a prominent personality is hospitalized for the same or it affects a large group of people at once.

A study done by students form Kenyatta University found high level of food toxins in food stuffs sold in and around Nairobi city. This is an alarming case but it only shows how much care residents should take when handling food from the various markets to avoid food poisoning cases.

Often times in cases of food poisoning, food is infested by bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), or salmonella or a virus, such as the norovirus.

How to Prevent Food Poisoning at Home

  • Wash hands and food surfaces

You need to ensure you keep all food handling surfaces clean at all times. Washing hands cannot be overstated here. Great number of time food poison causing bacteria thrive in dirt, if you allow yourself to be unclean then you won’t be able to avoid food poisoning.

Hot soapy water will do a good job at getting rid of germs.

  • Separate ready to eat food from raw food.

To prevent cross contamination it’s advised to keep raw foods like meat, fish and chicken apart from other foods like vegetables.

  • Always cook food to the right temperature

If you can, make use of a food thermometer. Cooking food to the right temperature helps kill harmful germs.

Here are sample temperatures for some foods

Beef -71.1C or 160F|Pork, Roast, steak, chops and lamp 62.8C or 145F|Chicken is well cooked at 73.9C or 165F

  • Dispose food you are not sure with 

If you are not sure how long food has stained , throw it away ,better be safe than sorry. Food spoils fast if it stored at room temperature yet warming it may not rid off the toxins their in. So if you are in doubt don’t even taste it.

  • Put food in the fridge immediately after purchase

If you have cooked or just bought food its best to refrigerate it within two hours anything longer than this only serves to expose the food to contamination.

  • Defrost food properly 

Don’t let food thaw at room temperature.Use the fridge to defrost food, this is the safest way. If you use the microwave to defrost its advisable to cook the food immediately.

If you happen to have food poisoning by hard lack here are a few tips to help deal with it at home ,without visiting the doctor.

How to treat food poisoning –Home Remedy

Naturally food poisoning improves without the need for treatment under 48 hours. Here are a few tips to prevent dehydration and keep you comfortable while you recuperate.

  • Don’t eat or drink. Take a few hours off food just to let the body regain itself.
  • Drink plenty of water in small bits. Alternatively you can take soda water or non-caffeinated drinks like Gatorade. You will know you are getting enough fluids when the color of your urine is clear
  • Slide back into eating. Start with easy to digest foods but in very small quantities. In case you feel nauseated again, it’s advisable to stop eating and give it time. Foods like bananas, toast, soda crackers and rice will do you good in beginning.
  • Keep off some foods. Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, dairy products and fatty or spicy foods are not good for food poisoning recovery.
  • Take time to relax. Food poisoning causes dehydration which can be very exhausting

HowKE Team

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