Urinary tract infections, warts, sunstroke, otitis, dehydration … Some diseases occur particularly in summer. Among them, we also find food poisoning. This digestive infection is due to the consumption of food or water contaminated by bacteria (Escherichia coli, salmonella, listeria …), parasites, viruses or toxic substances. These pathogens secrete toxins and substances harmful to the body in the food ingested. The nutrients most often incriminated are cold meats, dairy products, meat, eggs, fish, seafood and mushrooms.
The summer period is conducive to food poisoning because the heat promotes bacterial proliferation. In addition, there are more aperitifs on the terrace, picnics by the sea and barbecues in the garden in summer. We also eat more raw food and we tend to leave food in the sun or in the open air.
To avoid having food poisoning during sunny days, certain precautions must be taken. Rule n ° 1: wash your hands with soap and water before cooking or eating. You should also clean your refrigerator, utensils and worktop after using them. But these few good habits are not enough. The National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES) recalls the right actions to take to limit the risk of food poisoning this summer.
Food poisoning: respect the cold chain
To enjoy food in complete safety, the cold chain must be guaranteed continuously. “This process allows the products to preserve their qualities (hygienic, nutritional and organoleptic) and to keep them healthy, from the production stage to the kitchen”, indicates on its site the General Directorate of Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF). Unlike heat, cold limits the multiplication of bacteria that can be responsible for food poisoning. The Medicines Agency (ANSES) recommends keeping food at low temperature and never refreezing a thawed product.
The drug gendarme also recommends buying the most fragile products and frozen products at the end of the race and using isothermal bags to transport food that is difficult to keep. Another tip: immediately store nutrients in the fridge once you get home. To avoid getting sick, it is also advisable to respect the expiry date, to eat the opened products quickly and to put the food back in the fridge immediately after each use.
Cook food sufficiently to avoid food poisoning
Who says summer, says return of barbecues. But to limit the risk of food poisoning, care must be taken to cook the food properly. “Minced meats, meatballs, sausages must be cooked through to the core because pathogenic bacteria can survive if the cooking is not sufficiently complete”, recommends ANSES. The agency also recommends using two boards, one for slicing raw meat and a second for other nutrients. This prevents bacteria from being transferred from raw products to other foods. “During a barbecue or a picnic, do not keep food remains for more than two hours at room temperature before refrigeration”, recommends the drug gendarme.
Food poisoning: storing food well
ANSES recommends keeping the temperature of the coldest zone of the refrigerator between 0 and + 4 ° C and checking the tightness of the doors. In terms of product conservation, the drug gendarme recommends keeping catered products, ready-made meals, cream-based pastries and non-pre-packaged foods cool. These foods should be eaten three days after purchase. “Place food in the refrigerator no later than 2 hours after preparation”, indicates the agency.
Food poisoning: always keep eggs at the same temperature
Eggs are perishable foods. To avoid being the victim of food poisoning, it is advisable to keep the eggs at a stable temperature and avoid cold / hot which facilitate condensation and the penetration of pathogens from the shell into the interior of the egg. Another recommendation: do not wash the shell of the eggs before storing them because this cleaning weakens the surface of the shell. This can promote the penetration of bacteria. ANSES recommends preparing raw egg-based recipes (mayonnaise, creams, chocolate mousse) at the last minute. In case of storage, it is necessary to keep them cold, then to consume them within 24 hours.
Symptoms that should alert in case of food poisoning
Signs of food poisoning appear quickly, usually within 24 hours of eating a contaminated food. Symptoms can be mild or severe depending on the organism involved and the person.
Food poisoning is manifested by:
- Abdominal pain
- Significant fatigue
- Fever and headache
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