Today is World Health Day, which celebrates the founding of the World Health Organization in 1948. The theme of World Health Day for 2015 is Food Safety.
The World Health Organization reports that an estimated 2 million people die annually due to unsafe food; and America is not immune to this. CNN says that the number of Americans that are becoming sick or dying from contaminated foods has increased 44% since last year. CNN cites "tainted cantaloupe, unsafe mangoes, meat, and the peanut butter recall," as unsafe foods that have been integrated into our diets in the past.
And while popular belief says otherwise, the leading cause of food-borne illnesses is from the mishandling of foods at home - not when eating out!
Here are some helpful tips on World Health Day to avoid dealing with unsafe food:
1. Wash your hands as often as you can when preparing food!
Be sure to wash your hands before you work with any food or cooking utensils, as well as inbetween any time that you deal with raw meat or fresh vegetables. And while we all slack on the correct hand washing from time to time, it's important to wash all areas of your hands and wrists for at least 20 seconds.
On the same token, examine your hands before you cook. If you have any sores or cuts on your hands, wear gloves for cooking.
2. Avoid cross contamination
Make sure that you keep your different foods separate when cooking - especially raw meats! Take measures such as using different cutting boards, plates, and cooking untensils when preparing different foods.
3. Cook your food to the proper temperatures
Dangerous bacteria is killed when we cook our food to the correct temperature, but the correct temperature varies for each food. NutritionBite provides a good guide on the correct temperatures to cook at. Also be sure to refigerate foods quickly in order to prevent the growth of bacteria.