The top cause of food borne illness last year in the states was, perhaps not surprisingly, salmonella and chicken and ground beef were identified as being the most riskiest food to eat.
What Can We Learn from the US experience?
The CDC report highlighted a quite surprising way that children have become infected whilst riding in supermarket trolleys. Apparently young children are being exposed to raw meat and poultry products especially if the children are placed in the main trolley area with all the shopping. Researchers have warned parents to ensure their children are kept away from their supermarket shop which could contaminate them due to leaking juices.
Reduce the risk of cross contamination
Clearly all of us can benefit from adopting practices to reduce the risk of cross contamination by, for example, ensuring raw meat, poultry and seafood purchases are kept separate from other food products.
Again once home it is important to ensure that raw meat is carefully stored in a suitable container to prevent any juices from dripping on other foods.
Start with clean hands: wash with soap and water for a good 20 seconds and if at all possible make sure you have separate chopping boards which are used for either fruit and vegetables or raw meat to avoid cross-contamination.
Cooking the right way
Proper cooking is absolutely critical when dealing with meat, poultry and seafood. Unless the right cooking temperatures have been achieved then the risk is that bacteria such as E. Coli and Salmonella will remain. The only way to make sure that the harmful bacteria has been destroyed is by using a meat thermometer and this should be inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
Left over food needs to be placed into the fridge within a 2 hour period of cooking (this time can vary according to the food) as otherwise if the food is left out at room temperature harmful bacteria can start growing.
What to do if you suffer from Food Poisoning?
If other people preparing the food you have eaten have failed to ensure the food has been prepared and cooked properly then if you suffer with food poisoning you may well have grounds for bringing a claim. Next to receiving urgent medical attention you will need to speak with a solicitor specialising in these type of claims so that you can receive the best advice and practical steps to take.