Ways to Stay Healthy - 17 Tips To Protect Yourself From Food Borne illnesses and Diseases
How to Stay Healthy
There are so many things that we can do to help us stay healthy, however, today I will be sharing 17 tips; but before I get to these tips, let me just say that sometimes several of the illnesses we have contracted are from bugs and pests in our own homes. Secondly, quite often, we ourselves are also to be blamed for our share of diseases and illnesses that we have indirectly introduced into your bodies due to poor practices and poor home hygiene. For example, the norovirus has been linked to poor food preparation, infrequent washing of the hands, and poor or improper sanitation techniques. Some of us have never given any of this much thoughts, else we would have taken these simple steps to make our home environment more safer for our overall health.
Below are are three household pests in particular, that are responsible for spreading some of the most deadly germs and diseases found in our homes:
- Flies - which are more prevalent during the daytime for example, cannot readily digest solid foods, they have to vomit on food in order to liquefy them. When you eat or share a meal with flies, what you may ended up with is diarrhea, dysentery and other diseases.
- Roaches - like flies, can transmit serious diseases like typhoid fever and cholera. The germs responsible for these diseases, are picked up by roaches from filth and carried to the food you eat. Roaches can also transmit dysentery, the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the large intestine caused by bacterial or viral infection. Dysentery is a disease characterized by abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, and bloody stool, mucus or pus in the stools. If an individual with this disease doesn't get help immediately, he or she may die from dehydration or other complications.
- Mice - they can contaminate food with their urine and excretion. They are also known to carry parasites such as fleas, mites and worms, and they can spread also many other diseases. Mice are responsible for transmitting the disease known as Leptospirosis. symptoms of this disease include enlargement of the spleen, jaundice, and nephritis. The infection is commonly pass on to humans when they consumed water/food that has been contaminated by the urine of mice. Leptospirosis can also be transmitted through openings in the skin, via the eyes, or even by way of the mucous membranes.
Improper storage and handling of uncooked as well as cooked or prepared food, can also lead to food poisoning and other serious health related illnesses. Therefore, it's also important that we practice the proper food safety precautions at all times.
Since we often contracted germs and diseases in homes from household pests, poor home hygiene and the improper handling of food, if we take certain precautions we can dramatically protect ourselves from household germs, viruses, diseases, food borne pathogens, poisoning and other illness etc, and improve our overall health, by just following these 17 simple recommendations:
- Properly clean and sanitize stove tops, tables, and counter surfaces with antibacterial cleaners before using them.
- Practice frequent hand-washing with antibacterial/germicide soaps and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
- Wash cups,plates and other utensils, before and after using them. Turn each of them down to drain and let them air-dry, if you don't have a dishwasher at home.
- Don't leave food sitting around uncovered or unattended, neither should you leave food out at nights for roaches and mice to feed on or crawl over.
- Don't leave dirty dishes in sinks at nights.
- Refrigerate all food items that require refrigeration after using or opening containers.
- Refrigerate all meat/ poultry and eggs.
- Keep and serve milk at 40 degrees F. Refrigeration is the single most important factor in maintaining the safety of milk. By law, Grade A milk must be maintained at a temperature of 45 degrees F or below. However, temperatures well below 40degrees F, are necessary to preserve the milk's quality.
- Cook foods should be cooked and serve at optimal temperature.
- Don't use aerosol sprays, disinfectant,household cleaners and other toxic products around opened food or drinks/water.
- Leave at least one window opened for awhile for air exchange, when using the above products.
- Keep a mat at door entrance and wipe shoes well after returning from outdoor.
- If you work at a hospital or in any environment which may exposed you to blood borne pathogens or the chance of picking up any other super bugs/germs on the bottom of your shoes, don't walk through house with house on, especially if your house is carpeted. Remove all shoes, and leave them on an inside foot mat.
- If your job requires you to be in contact with patients, or body fluids etc, remove clothes/outer garments as soon as you get home. Don't sit on chairs, coaches, or sit/lie on beds before moving outer garments. Immediately place them in soil/dirty clothes basket.
- Avoid cross contamination, don't use knives to cut raw or uncooked meats, then use same knives to cut cooked meats or any ready to eat food items without washing them thoroughly. If you use pots, pans, cutting board or counter surfaces to prepare uncooked fish, meat, poultry etc., wash or sanitize before using the same surface to prepare cooked or prepared food items.
- Get rid of all food items with expired dates, especially can foods.
- Wash all uncooked fruits and vegetables before eating.
Based on the consumer guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Services, food and dairy products should be cooked to the following temperatures:
Medium Rare - 145 deg. F or 63deg.C
Medium - 160 deg. F or 71deg.C
Well Done - 170 deg. F or 77deg.C
Ground Beef-160 deg. F or 71deg.C
Chicken - 180 deg. F or 82 deg C
Turkey - 180 deg. F or 82 deg C
Boneless Turkey Roast - 170deg. F or 77 deg C
Stuffing (inside/outside bird - 165deg. F or 74 deg C
Medium - 160 deg. F or 71deg.C
Well Done - 170 deg.F or 77 deg.C
Ham/Fresh - 160 deg. F or 71 deg.C
Sausage/Fresh - 160 deg. F or 71 deg.C
Fried/Poached - cook until yolk and white are firm
Casseroles - 160 deg. F or 71deg.C
Sauces/Custards - 160 deg.F or 71 deg.C
Please note that commercial cooking temperatures are slightly lower than home cooking temperatures.
One final word of advice to help you stay healthy:- It's highly recommended that you have a cooking thermometer at hand whenever you are cooking. Also, keep a thermometer in your refrigerator and record daily temperatures. This will allow you to adjust temperature as needed and you will also be able to tell if your refrigerator is working optimally or not.
Copyright (c) I.McFarlane 2012
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