Substandard ingredient: Ways to invite food poisoning at parties

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 00:00 |
Ways to invite food poisoning at parties.

Food made in bulk

A single rotten or even substandard ingredient can affect the whole dish. It could be one bad egg that could affect the whole batch of omelettes in a buffet. Or using cooking oil that is cheap and sub-standard that can affect fried dishes.

Lack of proper hygiene 

The whole process of food preparation, cooking, serving and eating requires you follow strict hygiene. Occasionally, food may come in contact with the organisms in faecal matter. This most commonly happens when a person preparing food doesn’t wash their hands before cooking.

You could make trouble for others by not washing the cutting board as you prepare different foods. Organisms from meat may contaminate fresh vegetables and fruits.

At a picnic or during a party, you are more likely to eat food without washing your hands. When serving food, make sure that all cutlery and crockery is clean.

Undercooked food

Cooking food thoroughly kills any dangerous bacteria.

Raw food

Eating fresh produce provides important health benefits, but sometimes raw fruits and vegetables may cause food poisoning from harmful germs such as salmonella, E coli, and listeria.

Thoroughly rinse all fruit and vegetables in clean water to remove soil, bacteria, insects and chemicals. Keep raw foods and ready-to-eat foods separate to avoid cross-contamination.

Unpasteurised milk 

Pasteurisation is a widely used process that kills harmful bacteria by heating milk to a specific temperature for a set period of time. Raw milk and products made from raw milk (such as cheeses and yoghurts) can cause serious infections, such as salmonella, listeria, and E coli.

Poor food storage

Prepared foods and cold foods should never be left out at room temperature for more than two hours. Prepared foods include anything that has been cooked: burgers, chicken, French fries, pasta, pizza, among others. Cold foods include anything that should be stored in the refrigerator: potato salad, deli meat, dairy products, among others.

This also includes foods carefully prepared and chilled at home—they also can’t be left out for more than two hours. Also, store food in clean containers that are strong enough for the food they contain. Make sure food storage containers have not been used to store things other than food, and wash and sanitise them before use.

If you are at risk of infection

Anyone with a suppressed immune system or an auto-immune disease may have a greater risk of infection and a greater risk of complications from food poisoning. Elderly individuals also face a greater risk of contracting food poisoning because their immune systems may not respond quickly to infectious organisms.

Children are also considered an at-risk population because their immune systems aren’t as developed as those of adults. Young children are more easily affected by dehydration from vomiting and diarrhoea. Pregnant women are more at risk because their bodies are coping with changes to their metabolism and circulatory system during pregnancy.

Weather conditions

Chances of getting food poisoning are higher during hot season. This is because food starts to spoil fast. So, if you are picnicking on a hot day, put leftovers back in with fresh ice.

Egg dishes

Take extra care when preparing foods that contain raw eggs – such as eggnog, homemade mayonnaise and aioli – because bacteria on the egg shells can contaminate the food.

Spoilt food

Foods that are past their use-by dates, spoilt, or are in damaged containers or packaging can cause food poisoning.

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