Keep Your Kitchen Safe

Salmonella is a common pathogenThere are plenty of reasons not to eat out all of the time, ranging from eating healthier to spending more evenings at home with your family.

But avoiding foodborne diseases may be the biggest reason to stay in for dinner.

The contamination of our food supply is a major concern in America, and that concern continues to grow. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six Americans (approximately 48 million) will get sick by consuming contaminated food each year.

The CDC added that more than 250 foodborne diseases have been described or identified. Needless to say, the concern has its merits.

The top two pathogens that cause foodborne illness are the norovirus (sometimes known as the Norwalk virus) and the salmonella bacteria. Both of these pathogens can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including:

Infant formula

When left at room temperature for too long, bacteria can grow infant formula.

The norovirus and salmonella can get into your food in a variety of different ways, but most often they come from not preparing or cooking food properly. Bottle-fed infants are actually at a higher risk for salmonella because the bacteria can grow in warm formula when it is left at room temperature too long.

So how can staying in to eat reduce the risk of foodborne disease? It is pretty simple: You can monitor the food you and your family eats.

When you cook your family dinner, you can make sure the produce is washed appropriately and the beef or poultry is cooked thoroughly. You have control of your own kitchen, so you can make sure the food you eat is safe.

The CDC has a list of additional measures you can take to protect you and your family from foodborne illnesses. They include washing your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat and refrigerating leftovers promptly.

That isn’t to say that you should never go out to eat at a restaurant. But when you do, know how the local health department scored the restaurant and make sure they cook your food thoroughly.

Hopefully these tips can help prevent a few unnecessary upset stomachs.