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Is your food safe? Checkout four ways to make your food safer.

Researchers estimate that each year about 30 percent of people in developed countries suffer from illness. In poorer countries, foodborne and waterborne diseases kill millions—mostly children—every year. Is it possible to protect your family from unsafe food? The Canadian Food Inspection Agency states: “If unsafe food gets into our grocery stores, it makes headlines. And rightly so. But unsafe food, which could lead to foodborne illness can also happen from what we do—or don’t do—in our own kitchen .” What can you do to protect your family from foodborne illness? Consider four ways to make your food safer.

1. Shop Wisely:

UNLESS you grow your own food, your first contact with the food you eat will likely be at a market or supermarket. When you shop, how can you select and purchase healthful food? Checkout a list of some important things to do:

Plan your route. “Shop for non-perishable food first,” advises the Food Safety Information Council in Australia. “Leave [items from] the fridges and freezers to the end of your shopping.” Also, if you are buying hot food, pick it up just before you return home.

Favor fresh food.Try to purchase fresh food when possible.

Inspect your food. Ask yourself: ‘Is the skin on my produce intact? Is the meat free of unusual odors?’ If the food is prewrapped, inspect the packaging. Damaged packages can allow poisonous bacteria to enter the food.It is also necessary to check the expiration date printed on packaged food.” Why? Experts warn that even if “expired” food looks, smells, and tastes good, it can still make you sick.

Pack safely. If you use a reusable shopping bag or plastic bin, wash it out frequently with hot soapy water. Carry meat and fish in separate bins or bags so they do not contaminate other food. Shop locally. That way, you don’t have to transport food very far and risk spoilage. If it will take longer than 30 minutes to return home, put chilled or frozen foods into an insulated bag, or in some other way, make sure it is kept cool.

2. Keep It Clean :

JUST as a surgeon protects his patients by washing his hands, sterilizing his instruments, and maintaining a clean operating room, you can protect your family by doing the following:

● Wash your hands. The Public Health Agency of Canada states that “hands spread an estimated 80 percent of common infectious diseases like the common cold and flu.” So wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating, after using the toilet, and when you prepare a meal.

● Keep your kitchen clean. Change dishcloths frequently, and use hot soapy water or disinfectant to clean kitchen surfaces.

● Rinse produce. Before produce is sold, it may have been contaminated by unclean water, animals, fecal matter, or other raw food items. Therefore, even if you plan to peel fruits or vegetables, rinse them thoroughly to remove harmful bacteria.

● Separate raw meat.To prevent the spread of bacteria, seal or securely wrap all raw meat, poultry, and seafood, and separate them from other food. Use a separate cutting board and knife for those foods, or wash your cutting board and knife thoroughly with soap and hot water before and after raw meat or seafood touches it.

3. Prepare and Store Food Carefully:

Ensure to do the following while preparing a meal for yourself and your family:

Do not thaw meat at room temperature.

● Cook food stuff thoroughly.

● Serve cooked food immediately.

● Handle extra food (leftovers)

wisely.

4. Be Observant When Eating Out.

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