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What is Food Safety? What Does it Mean and Why is it Important?

Have you ever wondered, what is food safety? Well, it’s the discipline that’s responsible for ensuring food quality as far as microorganisms are concerned.

One of the main dangers of consuming many foods is that harmful microorganisms can grow inside them. These microorganisms can reproduce, generate toxins and colonize the digestive tract.

As a result, the person can suffer from diarrhea or other issues that can hurt their health. Therefore, to avoid those issues, it’s important to take certain measures regarding the handling of our foods.

What else should you know about it? We’ll tell you below.

What is food safety and why is food preservation so important?

The most critical moment in food handling is its preservation. If it’s not kept at the proper temperature or the correct processes aren’t carried out, there’s a risk of microbial reproduction.

A clear example is the case of mayonnaise in the summertime. During this season, high temperatures favor salmonella growth. This microorganism can cause diarrhea and vomiting, according to a study published in the British Veterinary Journal.

Another example can be seen with tomato sauce containers. These products are excellent breeding grounds for clostridium botulinum reproduction. When you ingest these microorganisms, they cause progressive paralysis of the muscular and organic systems in the body. As a result, it could lead to death.

Sterilization is a fundamental part of food safety

Thermal processes are a great ally of food safety in general. These procedures ensure that pathogenic microorganisms are destroyed before they’re stored.

Almost all of these processes are based on subjecting the food to high temperatures for a certain amount of time. Then, the food is packed in the most aseptic conditions possible to prevent cross-contamination.

Subjecting foods to heat treatments is the best form of preservation. They can usually be kept at room temperature for a long period of time without any issues. However, once you open them, they become perishable products that you need to put in the refrigerator.

Beware of cross-contamination

Another danger in terms of food safety is cross-contamination. This is the result of sharing kitchen utensils or containers that haven’t been properly disinfected.

Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind that the utensils you use to handle perishable, raw, or potentially risky foods shouldn’t be used for other foods before you wash them.

Cross-contamination is common when you store different foods in the same container. Cooked and raw foods shouldn’t be mixed, so it’s best to store them separately.

How to tell if you have food poisoning

Generally, food poisoning causes gastrointestinal problems. For example, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting are the most common.

However, in some situations, the symptoms may vary or worsen, as is the case with Clostridium botulinum poisoning. This microorganism can be in poorly preserved processed foods. In addition, according to research published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology, it’s capable of causing gastrointestinal and even nervous disorders.

It’s important to see your doctor as soon as you notice the first symptoms and you think it might be food poisoning. In this situation, it’s important to stay hydrated because it will help alleviate your symptoms. In the most acute cases, you may need to get an intravenous serum, especially if you’re not tolerating oral fluids.

You mustn’t confuse food poisoning with allergies. That’s why it’s so important to see your doctor. If it turns out to be an allergic reaction, you’ll need to take medication to help.

Food safety keeps us healthy

Food safety is the discipline that’s responsible for keeping us healthy and for preventing intoxications caused by ingesting microorganisms in our foods.

Every year, eating foods in poor condition results in cases of death. Therefore, it’s important to be very careful about the handling and preservation of your food.

Be sure to keep it at the right temperature, sterilize your containers well, and avoid cross-contamination. These are the fundamental pillars of good food hygiene.

In addition, if you think you’ve eaten something in poor condition or that has been contaminated, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. They will tell you the next steps to take.

Also, staying hydrated and alleviating your symptoms will make the process more bearable. In addition, these steps will help you avoid major complications that could compromise your health.

It’s essential to pay attention to expiration dates and “sell by” dates on our foods. Additionally, you should pay attention to storage instructions from manufacturers once you’ve opened the containers.

So, if you’ve ever wondered what is food safety, now you know how to protect yourself from the harmful microorganisms in your food!

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