Summer Food Poisoning: Top five ways to avoid

Summer has just arrived and there's no better time to have a fun filled BBQ or a potluck party.

When the weather is hot outside, of course partying can be lot of fun but often times most people ignore the fact that with too much partying and the heat, it can take a toll on your health.  One of the common problems most people face is food poisoning. The warmer weather can increase the likelihood of catching a food borne illness.

One of the main reasons for food poisoning is consuming food that has been contaminated by viruses, bacteria and parasites. Some symptoms of food poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and cramps in your abdomen.

In order to avoid this serious problem, check out these simple yet effective tips.

Keep your cooking utensils and surroundings neat- While cooking and serving food to your guests, make sure to keep all the utensils, serving dishes and countertops clean. While cooking, after every step use hot water and soap for cleaning. Also make it a habit to wash your hands frequently.

Know how to defrost meat- one of the ways to avoid food poisoning during summer is make sure you do not leave chicken or other meats on the counter. When these foods become warmer or kept outside for long, it is easier for bacteria to enter and multiply.

Cook your meat well- It is very essential to cook food to a safe temperature, as this process destroys harmful bacteria.  One of the best ways to ensure your food is cooked enough in order destroy the germs is to check with a food thermometer.

Take all precautions when picnicking or camping- You should be extra careful while going outdoors during hot season. Keep fresh produce, dairy products and raw meat in cold temperatures, and away from direct sunlight. If you are carrying chicken, or beef make sure it is fully cooked. If you do not have access to refrigerator, then go for non-perishable foods or keep meat frozen.

Don't eat leftovers that have been there for a long time- In order to avoid any kind of stomach problems, you should consume delicious leftovers within three to four days. Before eating leftover food, you must heat them at high temperature. Remember you should not reheat more than once, as changes in temperature can cause bacteria to grow.

-Akhila kakarala
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