Sunday, January 2, 2011


1. Eat as few ready-to-eat (RTE) products as possible, because they are likely to be many times more risky than those you cook yourself (that includes sliced up and RTE fruits and vegetables, as well as deli salads, spreads, sandwiches, and others). The added convenience is simply not worth getting ill.
2. Remember that eating out is likely to be more risky than eating in your own home, or in the home of someone you know - so choose where and what you eat with care.
3. Check the country-of-origin of your food products and give preference to local rather than "remote" foods - that is, those that have travelled thousands of miles to your plate and been stored for long periods of time.
4. Avoid eating any undercooked meat, poultry, fish or shellfish (that includes undercooked salmon, and those undercooked mussels and clams - not just hamburger, steaks and roast chicken).
5. Avoid eating undercooked eggs or dishes that contain undercooked shell eggs (unless the eggs used have been pasteurized).
6. Avoid raw dairy, including unpasteurized milk and raw milk cheeses - even those raw cheeses that have been aged for 60 days (as required by US government regulations). The latest outbreaks argue that this safety measure is not enough to kill all bacteria and it needs to be changed.
7. Avoid any food that is moldy, especially in the case of nuts and grains, nut-containing products, or grain-based foods. Although some will do you no harm, others could contain carcinogenic mold toxins. Who wants those?
8. Remember that poor handling, preparation, or incorrect storage of foods will also put you at more risk, so be careful, and discard foods that are past their expiry dates.
9. Hand washing may be old fashioned, but it is more important than ever. Remember to do it immediately after you handle any food that could be contaminated - not just human food, but also pet food, and especially pet treats. You would be surprised about the number of people who have caught salmonellosis from dog treats.
10. Never assume that any type of food, such as organic or sustainable or natural or anything else will be risk-free; it won't. Anything and everything can be contaminated with one thing or another. How safe it is, will be partly up to you. Be a smart consumer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is really, really useful. Great if you'll update this on a regular basis.