Keys to Safer Food explain the basic principles that each individual should know all over the world to prevent foodborne diseases.
✔ Wash your hands before handling food and often during food preparation ✔ Wash your hands after going to the toilet ✔ Wash and sanitize all surfaces and equipment used for food preparation ✔ Protect kitchen areas and food from insects, pests and other animals.
2Separate raw and cooked
✔ Separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods ✔ Use separate equipment and utensils such as knives and cutting boards for handling raw foods ✔ Store food in containers to avoid contact between raw and prepared foods
✔ Cook food thoroughly, especially meat, poultry, eggs and seafood ✔ Bring foods like soups and stews to boiling to make sure that they have reached 70°C. For meat and poultry, make sure that juices are clear, not pink. Ideally, use a thermometer ✔ Reheat cooked food thoroughly
4Keep food at safe temperatures
✔ Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than 2 hours ✔ Refrigerate promptly all cooked and perishable food (preferably below 5°C) ✔ Keep cooked food piping hot (more than 60°C) prior to serving ✔ Do not store food too long even in the refrigerator ✔ Do not thaw frozen food at room temperature
5Use safe water and raw materials
✔ Use safe water or treat it to make it safe ✔ Select fresh and wholesome foods ✔ Choose foods processed for safety, such as pasteurized milk ✔ Wash fruits and vegetables, especially if eaten raw ✔ Do not use food beyond its expiry date
Diseases that people get from eating contaminated food are an important cause of illness, disability and deaths around the world, as revealed by the first ever WHO Estimates of the Global Burden of Foodborne diseases published in December 2015.
Foodborne diseases-especially those caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi-are preventable, and education in safe food handling is a key measure for prevention, including to contain antimicrobial resistance.