Today is World Health Day and that means trying to spend your lunch break slurping back murky Frappuccino’s and carbo-loading on cronuts, while wondering why there is a need to have a World Health Day. Then you remember. Globalization, over population, pollution and corporate greed are all ingredients in the not-so-natural food we now eat.
This year’s World Health Day is dedicated to Food Safety, and with good reason. According to World Health Organization over 200 diseases are caused by unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses, chemical substances and it is estimated that two million deaths occur every year from contaminated food or drinking water. This should make you feel a little sick, and perhaps it’s your mouth full of the crème caramel crunch cronut you once again stole off your colleague’s desk, but it’s probably the thought of how many people live in environments that prohibit them from accessing clean water and food, or live in areas so environmentally devastated that a semblance of healthy life is no longer a right but a struggle of life and death.
Humbled by these statistics, you want to know more about how food safety works. It was taught to you in home-ec but honestly, who was listening when there was student meatloaf baking in the oven?
Below are 5 Food Safety tips issued by the World Health Organization, which outline how to maintain clean food and healthy bodies. Always remember, every act of kindness and awareness you attempt helps create a force of positive progress. From this point forth it gets serious-because it is!
- Clean Like You Mean It! Protect kitchen areas and food from insects, pets and other animals.
Why, You May Ask? Often, harmful bacteria may reside in water, soil, humans and animals. This bacterium is transferred from hands to clothing through touching or wiping, and the handling of utensils and cutting boards. The most minimal contact can transfer these bacteria to food and result in serious food-borne diseases.
- Separation During Preparation! Use separate equipment and utensils such as knives and cutting boards for handling raw food.
Why, You May Ask? Uncooked meat, chiefly seafood and poultry contain dangerous bacteria with the potential to contaminate other foods throughout their preparation and storage.
- Keep the Heat While Cooking The Meat! All food, specifically meat, eggs, poultry and seafood should be cooked to a 150°F (70°C) and to be sure, always use a thermometer.
Why, You May Ask? Studies have indicated that cooking food to 150°F (70°C) can help ensure foods are safe for ingestion. Foods requiring extra care are whole poultry, rolled roasts, large joints of meat and minced meat.
- Pure H20 to Wash Your Tomato Promises a Healthy Glow! Always wash raw fruits and vegetables.
Why, You May Ask? Contaminants and bacterium can be present anywhere-including water and ice. Damaged and spoiled food can produce poisonous chemicals, hazardous to your health. Washing and peeling raw foods are two easy measures that can significantly mitigate the risk of contamination.
- Don’t Roam in The Danger Zone! Never thaw frozen food at room temperature.
Why, You May Ask? Bacteria can reproduce rapidly at room temperature. Maintaining temperatures below 41°F (5°C) or above 140°F (60°C) ensures that chances of bacteria reproduction are mitigated-if not completely erased. Some bacteria has the potential to grow below 41°F (5°C).
“World Health Day 2015: Food Safety – the Global View.” WHO. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2015.
April 7th 2015, written by Maria Schumann for bodono.
Maria Schumann is a writer living in NYC, please visit her blog at convincemeotherwise.me
About Maria Schumann: “I love writing poetry, breaking a sweat at bikram yoga, and reading serial killer books while cooking. I love watching documentaries and I am always game for a crazy night of poker. Understanding the importance of a healthy relationship with my body and mind inspires me to help others come to a symbiotic relationship with their bodies and minds as well. Through writing I am able to reach people with my words and hopefully inspire positivity and change.”