Food should be handled, stored, prepared and served in such a way, and under such conditions, as to prevent the contamination of the food.
Food poisoning is the final link in a chain of circumstances.
BACTERIA+FOOD+MOISTURE+TIME = FOOD POISONING
It is the food producers responsibility to break this chain.
One of the easiest ways for bacteria to spread is from your hands. Always wash your hands....
- before you start baking and handling any food
- after handling raw meat or poultry
- after using the toilet
- after coughing into your hands or using a handkerchief
- after carrying out any cleaning
- after touching your face or hair.
According to the Food Standards Agency (F.S.A) you are just as likely to get ill from food prepared at home as you are from eating out. Recent figures have shown over 80,000 reported cases of food poisoning a year but it is estimated that the true figure is a lot higher due to non reported cases.
As well as bacterial infection,food poisoning can be caused by chemicals accidentally contaminating the product such as pesticides and weedkillers this is why fruit and salads etc should be washed before use.
Poisoning can result in eating poisonous plants or fungi such as toadstools or poisonous berries or seeds.
People with food allergies can sometime show the same symptoms as those with food poisoning but this is not the result of food being contaminated but an allergic reaction.
Foods that are vulnerable to contamination:
- raw meat
- ready to eat foods (cooked slice meat,pate,soft cheeses, pre-packed sandwiches)
- dairy products (eggs, milk, creams, custards)
- feeling sick (nausea)
- stomach cramps