Beware of food poisoning in summer

Japanese modern lifestyle

Hi it’s Ayumi!

There is a risk of food poisoning throughout the year, but you should be especially careful in the summer. It can be happened not only at restaurants but also at home.

Today, I will share the 6 points to reduce such a risk which is introduced by Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare website and shokuiku study. Some of you may already know, but let’s review together and try it while shopping or cooking!

How you get food poisoning

The main causes of food poisoning are “bacteria” that occur frequently in the summer (June to August) and “viruses” that occur frequently in the winter (November to March).

Typical bacteria are enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (O157, O111, etc.), Campylobacter, and Salmonella spp. Many bacteria prefer moisture, so food poisoning due to bacteria increases during the rainy season when the temperature begins to rise and the humidity also rises.

On the other hand, norovirus is a typical virus food poisoning. It survives for a long time in cold and dry environments and is often transmitted from cooks through food.

6 situations that you should be careful

I will introduce some important points that you should be aware of to reduce the risk of food poisoning. There are 6 situations as below.

At shopping

  • Check the expiration date on the label
  • Wrap fish and meat separately and use an ice pack
  • Take it straight home without a detour

How to restore

  • Put the items in the refrigerator / freezer as soon as you return
  • Be careful not to overfill the refrigerator. Keep to about 70% occupation
  • Refrigerator below 10 degrees, freezer below -15 degrees

Preparation

  • Keep towels and cloths clean
  • Wash vegetables well under running water
  • Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator or in the microwave
  • After cutting raw meat and fish, disinfect kitchen knives and cutting boards with boiling water

At cooking

  • Wash hands well before cooking
  • Heat at 75 degrees for 1 minute or more
  • If you stop cooking in the middle, put the food in the refrigerator

At eating

  • Wash your hands before eating
  • Serve with clean utensils and dishes
  • Do not leave the cooked food at room temperature for a long time (Approximately 2 hours is the maximum)

For leftovers

  • Wash your hands before handling leftover food
  • When reheating, heat it sufficiently (75 degrees or more)
  • If too much time passes or you think it’s a little suspicious, throw it away

When you feel sick

If you have any of the following symptoms, go to the hospital immediately.

・ Continued diarrhea (more than 10 times a day)
・ No urine for more than half a day, less urine
・ Feeling dizzy
・ Bloody stool
・ Vomiting continues
・ Body sways

Symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea are the body’s defensive reactions to eliminate the causative agent. Avoid taking over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medications and seek medical attention early.

First aid at home

①Take water
If you suspect food poisoning, rest and drink well. Use normal temperature or slightly warm water instead of cold water. This is to prevent dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea.

②Lie down
For the elderly and children, there is a risk that the vomiting may get stuck in the throat, so lay them down on sideways.

③Eat within a reasonable range
When your symptoms have subsided, eat little by little. Vomiting and diarrhea are exhausting and the gastrointestinal tract is weak, so choose one that is as digestible and nutritious as possible. Examples: porridge, vegetable soup, udon, banana. Make it warm, not cold.

Let’s take proper measures and survive the summer

As you can see, we always have the risk of food poisoning and it increases in the summer. Let’s practice the 6 points introduced and survive the summer happily and energetically!

Happy healthy life for your family!!

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