This spring, five people died after eating lettuce contaminated with E. coli. The CDC recently announced that 90 people have gotten salmonella from raw turkey meat. Goldfish and Ritz crackers were just voluntarily recalled due to possible salmonella presence. Breakfast cereal and vegetable trays are more items on the list of foods that have been contaminated. It seems there’s no way to escape the possibility of receiving a foodborne illness.
On average, there are 15 cases of outbreaks in the United States. In 2018, there have already been 13. 48 million Americans fall are affected by foodborne illnesses each year, 128,000 of them are hospitalized and 3,000 of them will die.
With so many foods now unsafe to eat, is there any way you can prevent yourself from getting sick? While there’s no way to predict what foods at the grocery store will be the source of the next big outbreak, there are ways you can stop contamination at home.
Cleanliness is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting sick. Wash your hands often and wipe down the surfaces in your house just as often. Take special care to wipe down the surfaces in your kitchen that have come in contact with any type of raw meat.
Use separate cutting boards for meat products and produce. Buy different colored cutting boards and assign different types of foods their own cutting board. Then, wash cutting boards immediately after use and let them air dry.
Keep meat products away from other types of food. When grocery shopping, keep the meat away from all of the other items in your cart. At home, keep the meat in a different place in your fridge than your other food. Also, make sure you’re not storing meat products on a shelf above produce.
Don’t let food that needs to be refrigerated sit out too long. Summer is one of the worst times for foodborne illnesses. At summer cookouts and picnics, food sits out in the sun for long periods of time, making many of it unsafe for eating. Put anything that needs to be chilled in the fridge right away. If you’re marinating food, keep that in the fridge instead of letting it sit on the counter.
Being aware of the possibility of foodborne illnesses is one of the best ways to prevent them. By following these tips, you can help stay healthy this year.