Australian food safety experts have recently issued a warning to Australians about foods that they need to be cautious of when it comes to food poisoning and it isn’t just the foods that automatically come to mind when we think of contaminated food.
Representatives from Food Standards Australia New Zealand and Food Safety Information Council said that there are seven culprit foods which are most likely to give people food poisoning. Knowing which foods are most risky will help people ensure that they exercise more caution when it comes to these foods and hopefully avoid food poisoning.
The seven most risky foods which may cause food poisoning include:
- Deli meats
Most people are aware that poultry needs to be cooked thoroughly to avoid food poisoning but they are often oblivious to the risks of cross contamination. In other words uncooked poultry carries bacteria, particularly Salmonella and when the juices from this uncooked poultry get onto other foods they contaminate them. This can happen in the refrigerator, by using the same utensils or not washing your hands. During the preparation of poultry before it is cooked, bacteria can splash onto other foods, surfaces, hands etc. and cause contamination.
This is a surprising one to many people. But experts say rice is dangerous “from the moment we take it home”. Rice is so commonly consumed but it can easily be infected with Bacillus cereus. These Bacillus cereus spores can survive in dry conditions such as those in your kitchen cupboards and when the rice is cooked, the spores become activated. The cooking process very often does not kill this bacterium but in fact promotes growth due to the warmth and moisture. To avoid food poisoning, eat rice within 3 days and refrigerator leftovers as soon as possible.
Eggs most often contain Salmonella which if eaten raw can cause food poisoning. But the good news is that when cooked, the bacteria in eggs are killed. The most dangerous foods are those in which raw egg is used such as mayonnaise and custards. Cross contamination is also a possibility which can cause food poisoning.
Deli meats are notoriously risky when it comes to food poisoning. Deli meats hold the risk of listeria in ham, salami and other cold meats. The moisture of the deli meats promotes the growth of bacteria especially when stored at room temperature. Deli meats must be stored in the refrigerator at all times.
Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit that grows in the ground such as watermelon grows listeria on their skin. Most other fruits get listeria when they are washed with dirty water which contains the bacteria.
Washing fruit properly is vital to avoiding food poisoning because listeria will not penetrate the skin, but it may lie on the skin and needs to be washed away. Peeling the skin of the fruit is also a good idea.
Similarly vegetables need to be washed thoroughly. Salads are particularly notorious when it comes to making people sick because lettuce, tomatoes, celery and other vegetables may carry salmonella and E.Coli. Vegetables need to be washed thoroughly before consumption and utensils and clean surfaces should be cleaned to avoid cross contamination.
Sprouts are another risky food because it grows in moist conditions in soil where bacteria such as E.Coli, Salmonella and Listeria are carried. Cooking sprouts help reduce the risk the risk of food poisoning.