Which foods are ‘high risk’ for the growth of food poisoning bacteria?
Once upon a time all we had to worry about was moist proteins, meats and such. Now with industrial agriculture the norm we also have to look out for fresh produce. Contamination is happening in the fields and factories so cases of food poisoning occur in fresh tomatoes, melons, spinach and lettuce to name a few. The only way to insure safety is to grow your own.
On the other hand, compared to the amount of food produced food borne illness is still quite rare. If you wash and trim your produce well and cook your meats to safe temperatures you will be fairly safe.
When storing leftovers, it is safer to put foods in a few shallow containers rather than a larger deep one, esp. rice and other grains. Foods that linger in the danger zone between hot and cold are those at greatest risk. Foods on a buffet table should not be left out for more than 2 hours and NEVER in direct sun or on a hot day. Potatoes are one of the foods to quickly produce toxic spores. Turkey, etc should be stuffed just before going into the oven and emptied before being stored away. Anything tightly packed w/ poor air circulation is dangerous, once opened. Acidic foods like tomato sauces and those w/ vinegar added are the least apt to spoil. Raw meats, esp. fish, should never be left out to thaw on a counter. Instead, allow more time to defrost in the refrigerator over a day or two. Thoroughly clean cutting boards w/ dilute bleach or hot water and soap between preparing raw meats and veggies unless cooking together at high heat.
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