Keep raw meat, particularly poultry, away from other foods. Picture: Pexels/Becerra Govea Photo
Keep raw meat, particularly poultry, away from other foods. Picture: Pexels/Becerra Govea Photo

4 ways to avoid food poisoning this festive season

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Dec 21, 2021

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‘Tis the season for giving and sharing. But one thing that no one ever wants to give is a sickness to your friends and family. During the holiday season, it’s important to make sure that you stay happy and healthy.

Here are four ways to avoid food poisoning this festive season.

Reheat your leftovers properly

Bacteria can be found in leftovers, and unless heating them, so they are piping hot, you may be at risk. For example, rice. Rice contains bacteria that are found in the rice paddy fields. The bacteria are killed when the rice is cooked, but their spores stay alive and flourish if then left out at room temperature. If you eat rice without fully heating it, you could be at risk of that bacteria the second time around. Make sure to heat your leftovers until they steam.

Separate foods

Keep raw meat, particularly poultry, away from other foods. Don’t let meat drip onto other foods, use separate chopping boards and knives for prepping meat, and wash your hands after touching raw meat to avoid contaminating other foods. Remember, poultry does not need washing before cooking and spreads bacteria, increasing the likelihood of food poisoning.

Hot, hot, hot

If you’re eating hot food, then make sure it is hot. Make sure it’s piping hot. If you’re buying street food, which is often delicious and completely authentic, ensure that you buy it when there’s a high turnover of customers. That way, you can be sure that it’s fresh and hasn’t been sitting around for hours attracting flies and bacteria.

Don’t leave your food out

Food left out at room temperature for hours at a time – be it at home, or a doggy bag from the restaurant you just left, a family cook out, or even a restaurant buffet - room temperature food is a prime source of food poisoning. The spores and toxins released by bacteria commonly found in food can flourish at this temperature.

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