These Common Mistakes Can Lead to Food Poisoning

Ensuring food safety in our kitchens is paramount to safeguarding our health and well-being. Yet, amidst our daily culinary routines, we often overlook critical practices that can prevent foodborne illnesses. From the way we store ingredients to our handling of raw meat, each step plays a vital role in minimizing the risk of contamination.Let’s navigate through common mistakes that compromise food safety and why these practices are risky and how to rectify them. By understanding and implementing these essential tips, you can safeguard yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of food poisoning.

Storing Half-Used Tins in the Fridge

canned fruits and vegetables, processsed
deposit photos


It might seem convenient to stick that half-empty can of beans in the fridge for later, but it’s a breeding ground for bacteria. Once opened, canned goods should be transferred to a clean, airtight container and used within a few days.

Defrosting Meat on the Counter

chicken and beef raw and packaged meat
deposit photos


Defrosting meat on the counter might seem like a time-saver, but it’s a recipe for disaster. Bacteria multiply rapidly at room temperature, so always thaw meat in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave.

Overstuffing the Fridge

Stuffed fridge and a person putting a whole pineapple
deposit photo


Packing your fridge to the brim might seem efficient, but it actually hinders air circulation, leading to uneven cooling and potential food spoilage. Leave some space between items to ensure proper airflow.

Using the Same Kitchen Tools on Raw and Cooked Meat

Flipping meat
deposit photo


Cross-contamination is a major culprit in food poisoning. Always use separate cutting boards, utensils, and plates for raw meat and cooked food to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.

Washing Raw Meat

Person washing uncooked chicken
deposit photo


Washing raw meat might seem like a good idea to remove bacteria, but it actually increases the risk of contamination. Splashing water can spread bacteria around your kitchen, contaminating surfaces and other foods. Cooking meat to the proper temperature is the best way to kill bacteria.

Eating Meat That Isn’t Fully Cooked

Cutting board with meat slide
deposit photo


Undercooked meat is a prime breeding ground for bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that poultry, pork, and ground beef are cooked to the recommended internal temperature to kill harmful pathogens.

Placing Raw Meat in the Fridge Top Shelf

Raw meat top shelf firdge
deposit photo


Raw meat should be stored on the bottom shelf of the fridge to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods and causing cross-contamination. Keep raw meat in a leak-proof container to contain any potential spills.

Keeping Raw Meat in the Fridge Too Long

Raw meat in fridge too long
deposit photo


While it’s tempting to buy in bulk and stock up on meat, it’s essential to use it within a few days or freeze it for later. Raw meat can spoil quickly in the fridge, leading to foodborne illness.

Refreezing Melted Ice Cream

Melted Ice Cream
deposit photo


Once ice cream has melted, it should not be refrozen. Bacteria can multiply rapidly in melted ice cream, and refreezing it can lead to foodborne illness. Instead, enjoy it as a milkshake or discard it if it has thawed completely.

Putting Warm Food in the Fridge

Woman putting a pot in the fridge
deposit photo


Placing hot food directly into the fridge can raise the temperature inside, promoting bacterial growth and potentially contaminating other foods. Allow hot foods to cool to room temperature before refrigerating them.

Not Washing Fruit (Including Melon Rinds)

Varieties of fruits
deposit photo


Fruits with rinds, like melons, can harbor bacteria on the surface. Wash all fruits thoroughly under running water before eating or cutting to remove any dirt, bacteria, or pesticides.

Not Thoroughly Washing Tools That Touched Raw Meat 

Cutting raw meat
deposit photo


Properly washing kitchen tools that have touched raw meat are just as crucial as sanitizing any utensils or surfaces that came into contact with it. It’s best to use tools and cutting boards that can be cleaned and properly sanitized in a dish washer. 

Allowing Frozen Goods to Start Thawing in the Cart

grocery store cart in the middle of the aisle
deposit photos


Frozen goods should be the last items you pick up at the grocery store and the first to go into the freezer when you get home. Allowing frozen items to thaw in your shopping cart or on the way home can lead to bacterial growth and foodborne illness.

Leaving Leftovers Out for Too Long

Meat on cutting board slide
deposit photo

 

Leaving leftovers at room temperature for an extended period allows bacteria to multiply rapidly. Store leftover food promptly in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking to prevent foodborne illness.

Ignoring Expiration Dates

Woman reading a food label in a grocery store
deposit photo

 

Consuming food past its expiration date can pose serious health risks. Always check expiration dates before consuming food items, and discard anything that has expired to avoid food poisoning.

Not Cleaning the Refrigerator Regularly

woman cleaning with spray bottle and cloth
deposit photos

 

A dirty refrigerator can harbor harmful bacteria, leading to cross-contamination and foodborne illness. Regularly clean and sanitize the shelves, drawers, and walls of your refrigerator to maintain food safety.

Thawing Frozen Foods on the Counter

Frozen food on the counter
deposit photo

 

Similar to defrosting meat, thawing any frozen food on the counter can promote bacterial growth. Plan ahead and thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator overnight or use the microwave for a quicker thawing method.

Improperly Marinating Meat

Marinating or seasoning meat
deposit photo

 

Marinating meat is a common practice, but it’s essential to do it safely. Always marinate meat in the refrigerator, not on the counter, and discard any leftover marinade that has come into contact with raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.

Using Damaged or Cracked Utensils and Containers

tupperware containers
deposit photos

 

Damaged utensils, containers, or cookware can harbor bacteria in cracks or crevices, leading to food contamination. Inspect your kitchen tools regularly, and discard any items that are cracked, chipped, or otherwise compromised.

Not Following Proper Handwashing Techniques

Marinading raw meat
deposit photo

 

Simply rinsing hands with water is not enough to remove harmful bacteria. Follow proper handwashing techniques by using soap and scrubbing hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, including between fingers and under nails, to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

12 Fake Foods You Need to Watch Out For

Woman reading a food label in a grocery store
deposit photo

 

Today’s consumers are among the most educated. They want to know what they are consuming by reading labels with ingredients listed, and they want to make safe and healthy choices. However, some consumers might be unaware that some of those “healthy foods” they are purchasing could be fake, containing fillers and other not-so-good-for-you ingredients. Before heading to the grocery store, here’s a look at fake foods that you need to watch out for to ensure you get the highest and purest quality possible.

12 Fake Foods You Need to Watch Out For

14 Common Cooking Blunders to Avoid

woman looking angry while holding a spatula and leaning on a pot. She's wearing sun glasses and has curlers in her hair
deposit photos

 

Creating delicious dishes in your own kitchen is a blast, but let’s face it—mistakes happen! Even if you’re a kitchen whiz, you might be falling into some sneaky pitfalls that are sabotaging your tasty creations. The following is a list of some common cooking slip-ups and how to steer clear of them. From the moment you assemble your ingredients to the final dish, these tips will have you cooking up a storm and impressing everyone at the dinner table.

14 Common Cooking Blunders to Avoid

15 Everyday Habits Linked to Cancer

women drinking wine
deposit photos

 

Cancer, a term that strikes fear into the hearts of many, remains a prevalent health concern worldwide. While genetics and environmental factors contribute to its development, our daily habits play a significant role in determining our cancer risk. The following are 15 common yet detrimental habits that are linked to an increased likelihood of developing cancer. It’s time to shed light on these behaviors and take a step towards a healthier, cancer-free lifestyle.

15 Everyday Habits Linked to Cancer