Did you know you’re just as likely to get sick from eating at home as when you’re eating out? Make sure your kids and loved ones stay safe by following the 3 Cs – Clean, Cook, Chill – to prevent food poisoning in your home.
Bacteria such as Campylobacter is most commonly found in raw chicken. However, Campylobacter and other types of bacteria can also be found in raw meat and seafood.
Clean – to prevent bacteria from spreading
Good food hygiene starts with clean hands, but it’s also important to make sure your cooking area and tools are clean.
Don’t rinse chicken when you remove it from its package. The water will simply splash around and spread bacteria around your kitchen surfaces and in your sink.
Use separate chopping boards for all your meat and seafood or wash with hot soapy water between ingredients.
Keep utensils separate and clean: tongs for raw meat should not be used on cooked foods, and knives used for seafood should be washed clean before being used for other ingredients.
Cook – to kill bacteria
Another step to protect your family from getting sick is by cooking food properly.
Chicken should be cooked all the way through until the juices run clear or it reaches an internal temperature of 75 degrees Celsius.
When reheating food, make sure it’s steaming hot. Bacteria can survive and sometimes thrive in warm temperatures so it’s essential to reheat properly.
Chill – to minimise bacteria growth
Bacteria grows rapidly in warm weather so don’t leave food out at room temperature for more than two hours. During summer when the temperatures are higher you should refrigerate food as soon as possible. When in doubt, chuck it out.
In the refrigerator, keep raw meat and chicken away from ready-to-eat food, fruit and vegetables. Store at the bottom shelf to prevent any juices, which can contain harmful bacteria, from dripping onto other foods.
Ensure your fridge is kept at 2-5 degrees to keep all foods chilled properly.
Take special precaution when pregnant
When you’re pregnant your levels of immunity are lower than usual so you’re at a greater risk of contracting food-borne illnesses such as Campylobacter. As a mum-to-be you’ll want to know which foods are high-risk, and what to avoid when eating out.
Foodborne illnesses can cause you and your baby to become very ill, and in extreme cases result in premature, stillbirths, or the death of a newborn. Know the risks and follow the 3 Cs at home.
Find out more about food safety in the home
For more food safety tips and how you can protect your family, visit www.foodsafety.govt.nz/ccc