I’m crazy, maybe even obsessed with food safety. My son really likes Panda express, but if I don’t see steam coming from those tables…we are out of there! I teach/preach food safety to my kids, so when my daughter tells me she has a stomach ache- I rewind the evening…
I was making stuffed pasta shells for dinner. I loaded the shells full of spinach and ricotta cheese. I seem to always mix too much cheese and make too many noodles, so these are sitting on the counter. My daughter comes in as asks what is in the bowl. I said, “its cheese for the pasta, but don’t eat it because it has raw eggs in it.” I proceeded to tell her that you can get Salmonella from eating raw eggs. This is then followed by an explanation of what Salmonella is and how it can make you sick.
So, there I am cleaning the dishes after dinner and she comes to me and says she has a stomach ache. I asked if she knew why, she says, “well that cheese that was on the counter…I ate some on those extra noodles.” What?! I already said it had raw eggs and had sat on the counter. Poor baby says, “I ate it when you left the kitchen and then asked what it was.” 😦
- Bacteria is everywhere and most is harmless
- Some bacteria are beneficial while others cause illness
- Bacteria can be controlled by controlling the food’s temperature during every stage of storage and preparation
Listeria Monocytogenes Bacteria
- Listeria most common in hot dogs and lunch meats.
- Listeria is unlike many other germs because it can grow even in the cold temperature of the refrigerator.
- Symptoms include fever and chills, headache, upset stomach and vomiting
- Incubation is 12 hrs to several days
Escherichia Coli Bacteria
- Ecoli – most common in raw and undercooked beef.
- Symptoms: diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, vomiting.
- Incubation 12-72 hours, duration up to 8 days
Staphylococcus aureus bacteria
- Most common in high protein items such as cooked meats, eggs, milk. Also in fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Causes severe diarrhea and nausea and is evident within ½ hr to 6 hr of after ingestion. Lasts 24-48 hrs
- Salmonella occurs in raw poultry, eggs, beef, and sometimes on unwashed fruit and vegetables.
- Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and headache.
- Incubation 6-48 hours, lasts 1-2 days
- The only way to help prevent contamination is by cooking foods to the proper temperature
- Temperatures of 165°F kill most bacteria within a few seconds
Remember that Listeria can grow at cold temperatures and in the refrigerator
Temperature Danger Zone
- The key to keeping food out of this “Danger Zone” is to make sure cold food stays cold and hot food stays hot
- Store food in the refrigerator (40 °F/4°C or below) or freezer (0 °F/-18°C or below)
- Maintain hot cooked food at 140 °F/60°C or above
- When reheating cooked food, reheat to 165 °F/ 74°C
Wash Your Hands
- Wash during food preparation, as often as necessary to remove soil and contamination and to prevent cross-contamination when changing tasks
- When switching between working with raw food and ready-to-eat food
Luckily, for my daughter she didn’t get sick. She had a nervous tummy after realizing she ate something she probably should not have. She said next time she will ask before she eats. 😀
Do you avoid certain restaurants or ever had food poisoning ?