Food Safety Mistakes to Avoid


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. 48 million people every year experience these symptoms of foodborne illness, or food poisoning, and severe cases can land you in the hospital or even worse. Foodborne illness typically happens when you eat foods that have been contaminated due to unsafe handling. Ivanhoe has the food safety mistakes you should stop doing right now to avoid getting sick.

Even if you’ve washed your hands, produce, and utensils before cooking, have you washed your reusable grocery bags? Researchers found uncooked meat juices on 41 percent of grocery bags, so not washing your bag can spread bacteria to the rest of your food before even leaving the store. Another mistake you could be making is not sanitizing your kitchen counter. Listeria can stay on kitchen counters for up to six days and wiping down your counters will not get rid of the bacteria. You will need to use a disinfecting spray and let it sit long enough to kill the germs. Where you put raw meat in your fridge could also cause a problem.

Joe Kivett, Author, The Food Safety Book says, “You’ve got that package of chicken and let’s say you put it on the top shelf and it starts to leak and now it’s leaked into your produce drawer.” Spreading bacteria to your fruits and vegetables. Instead, wrap meat in an additional plastic bag and then store in the bottom of the fridge. And never leave food out for too long.

Kivett says, “The key thing to remember is make sure that food is not in the danger zone for more than two hours. The danger zone is temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees.”

With tips to keep you out of the danger zone for food poisoning.

One more food safety mistake to avoid: not washing fruits and vegetables with inedible skins. The FDA found listeria on the skins of 17 percent of avocados they tested, which can transfer to the edible pulp of the avocado when cutting or peeling. So, it would be a good idea to wash the skins of produces like avocados, watermelons, and pineapples before consuming.

Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Bob Walko, Editor.


REPORT #3071

BACKGROUND: Foodborne illnesses, also known as food poisoning or foodborne disease, are infections or illnesses caused by consuming contaminated food or drink. These illnesses are a significant public health concern, causing an estimated 48 million people to get sick, 128 thousand hospitalizations, and three thousand deaths every year in the United States. There are many different types of foodborne illnesses, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. In severe cases, foodborne illnesses can cause dehydration, kidney failure, and even death. Foodborne illnesses can be caused by a variety of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Some of the most common types of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses include Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli. These bacteria can contaminate food during production, processing, or preparation.


THE STUDY: Even if you have properly disinfected your hands, food, and utensils, there are many ways that foodborne illnesses are spreading. An estimated 41 percent of grocery bags were found to hold uncooked meat juice and contaminated food items in the bag. Food experts say other common mistakes are not sanitizing your kitchen counter, and not properly cleaning reusable bags and utensils. Experts recommend wrapping meats in additional produce bags and store them in the bottom of your refrigerator. Never leave raw meat out for long periods of time either. The Food and Drug Administration found listeria on the skins of different fruits tested. Washing the skins of produce is vital in order to reduce the spread of dangerous infections.


NEW REGULATIONS: To address foodborne illness issues, new regulations and policies are being implemented to reduce risks and improve food safety. One regulation that has been implemented is the Food Safety Modernization Act in the United States. The FSMA, which was signed into law in 2011, aims to shift the focus of food safety from responding to contamination to preventing it. The act gives the Food and Drug Administration new authority to regulate food production and processing facilities and requires food producers to implement new food safety measures to prevent contamination. Under the FSMA, food producers are required to identify potential food safety hazards and take steps to prevent them. This includes implementing preventive controls to ensure that food is produced and processed in a safe and sanitary manner, as well as conducting regular testing and monitoring of food products. Overall, new regulations are helping the risk of foodborne illness.


* For More Information, Contact:                         Joe Kivett

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