All foods have the potential to cause food poisoning.

Food poisoning most often occurs when food is not handled or cooked properly and is ingested, causing illness.

All foods have the potential to cause food poisoning but raw meat and poultry, soft cheeses, eggs and sliced meats are vulnerable to contamination if not handled, stored or cooked properly and are likely sources.

Effective household and personal hygiene practices such as hand washing, cleaning and targeted disinfection are essential in helping to prevent food poisoning.

When it comes to good hygiene, women are more thorough than men, according to the Dettol Habit Study II.

It found that women are more inclined to indicate that practising good hygiene benefits others, while men and young people are less likely to acknowledge this.

Most South Africans are diligent about maintaining hand and home hygiene, safeguarding their health and the health of the people around them.

Some groups are more thorough in their approach, such as women, people aged 45 to 54, extroverts and tidy people.

The following steps will help prevent cross contamination and lower the risk of food poisoning:

* Don’t forget to clean and disinfect all contaminated items including utensils, cutting boards and kitchen worktops after use.

* Soak, scrape, peel, brush, scald, or wash all fruit, salad and vegetables.

* Wash hands before and after eating.

Food storage

Store food in the fridge at 5C, do not overfill.

* Where refrigeration is not possible, use food preservatives such as salt or eat freshly prepared food each day.

* Prevent food juices from dripping on to other foods.

* Don’t leave cooked food sitting at room temperature for longer than two hours.


* Prepare raw meat, poultry, and seafood away from other foods.

* Cut meat and vegetables with separate knives and cutting boards.

* Always cook all meat products thoroughly at 70C, until the meat juices run clear.

* Remember to reheat (at 70C or above) and re-serve leftovers only once. - The Mercury