The foodborne illness (FBD) They represent a serious problem for human health worldwide. Many are caused by eating fruits, vegetables, or meat contaminated with microorganisms or parasites, or by the toxic substances they produce. Various studies have shown that 40% of FBD outbreaks reported in Argentina occur in the home.
This opens the door to the spread of disease as a result of cross-contamination caused by the transfer of pathogenic microbes from contaminated food to clean food. There are several sources of pollution and they can be classified into direct and indirect. The first are those that occur when cooked or ready-to-eat foods come into contact with others that are raw or dirty. Indirect ones are those that occur when kitchen tools used to prepare food come into contact with those that are ready for consumption.
One of the most famous ETA is Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), leading cause of acute renal failure in children under 5 years of age and the second cause of chronic renal failure. It mainly affects the smallest and is even classified as an endemic disease in our country with approx 400 to 500 cases new every year. One of the bacteria that is present in HUS is Escherichia coli 0157Shiga toxin producer.
Although on this last point it is important to clarify that most of the E. coli are harmless, it is a bacterium that is part of the healthy intestinal tract of humans and animals. It can also be found in the environment and sometimes in untreated food and water. The types of E. coli that can cause serious illness are spread through contaminated food or water and through contact with animals or people.
Symptoms of an eating disorder depend on the cause, can be mild or severe, and usually include:
● Stomach upset
● Abdominal cramps
● nausea and vomiting
Most foodborne illnesses are acute. This means that they occur suddenly and last a short time.
What are ETAs?
According to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), many different disease-causing microbes can contaminate food, so there are many different foodborne infections. Researchers have identified more than 250 diseases. Most of them are infections caused by various bacteria, viruses and parasites. Toxins and harmful chemicals can also contaminate food and cause foodborne illness. The top five germs that cause foodborne illness in the United States are:
● Clostridium perfringens
● Staphylococcus aureus (staphylococci)
Other germs don’t cause as many illnesses, but when they do, those conditions are more likely to require hospitalization. These microbes include:
● E. coli
● Clostridium botulinum (botulism)
What can we do to prevent foodborne infections?
Anyone can get sick from eating contaminated food. It only takes four simple food safety steps to prevent it (cleaning, separating, cooking and cooling).
PREPARATION AND PRESERVATION OF FOOD
Whether it is about properly storing food in the refrigerator or distinguishing the utensils according to the type of food, there are several types of recommendations. To do this, Ayudín® together with FUNCEI introduce us to these five rules that favor the safety of what we consume from the moment we choose it and take it home, to avoid poisoning and take care of our health:
To get started: Shop from businesses that meet the following basic requirements
● They must be activated, tidy, clean and well lit.
● There should be no animals inside.
● Staff handling money should be different from those handling food, should not have respiratory symptoms and should know and observe basic hygiene measures, for example hair tied back with a cap or hat, clean hands and nails and use and frequently change disposable gloves when handling perishable foods in addition to clean utensils.
● Make sure the packaging of each product is clean and intact (no breaks or cracks). Don’t buy boxes that have bumps, dents, or rust.
● Consider the expiration date of each product. Choose ones with a large supply of time until they expire.
● Do not break the cold chain when transporting food. When transfer time is long, use insulated bags or coolers.
● They must maintain and observe the cold chain (Do not turn off refrigerators at night).
CLEANING: Cleaning, disinfection and washing
● Carefully clean and disinfect kitchen surfaces, sponges and towels. Change dish towels often.
● Wash your hands before cooking, especially after handling raw food, handling waste, going to the toilet or changing diapers.
● Always use mains or potable water to wash food, disinfect or make ice.
● Wash vegetables leaf by leaf or fruit to remove dirt.
● Disinfect the water you will use to clean fruits and vegetables with classic bleach, following the manufacturer’s dosage by reading the label.
● To disinfect the water, use bleach suitable for this purpose. Follow these steps: first filter the water to remove suspended particles, mix 10 drops of bleach per liter of water and let it work for 30 minutes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
SEPARATE: Separate raw food from cooked food.
● Use a different cutting board for raw meat, cooked meat and vegetables. Avoid wooden boards.
● Store dairy products on the top shelves of the refrigerator, meat on the bottom shelves, and fruits and vegetables in their respective drawers.
● Protect stored food with plastic films or suitable containers.
COOK: Cook food thoroughly
● Cook all meats and eggs very well.
● When reheating foods, bring them to temperatures higher than cooking temperatures.
● Follow the microwave manufacturer’s instructions for cooking and reheating food.
● After preparation, if you are not going to eat the food immediately, store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Do not expose or cool to room temperature. Keep it cold.
REFRIGERATION: Store or store at appropriate temperatures
● I followed the directions on each container.
● For storage at room temperature, use well-closed containers. Then place them in a dry, cool, ventilated cabinet, protected from insects and rodents, smoke, odors, dust, etc.
● Cool all perishable foods, such as dairy products and their derivatives, meats of all kinds, eggs, vegetables and fruits, in a refrigerator (1 °C to 4 °C) to limit the growth of microbes.
● Keep the freezer (-18°C to -21°C) clean and dry and ensure that cold air can circulate between foods. Write the storage date on them to control their expiration. Thaw them in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. Follow the Freezing Rules Many foods, once thawed, should not be returned to the freezer.
Anyone can get food poisoning, but certain groups of people are more likely to get sick and have more severe illness. These include: people under 5, adults over 65, people with immunosuppression or weakened immune systems, and pregnant women.
Foodborne illness transmission is very common in the home, and its impact is magnified in high-coincidence settings such as restaurants, canteens, and the like. Therefore, you should consider and pay attention to the cleanliness of the place, food handling, cross ventilation, full cooking and keep in mind all hygiene measures when preparing or choosing a place for social gatherings. Multiple studies have shown that, contrary to popular belief, the biggest source of infection in the home is the kitchen, not the bathroom