Food poisoning: 10 tips to avoid them

Salmonellosis, listeriosis, staphylococcal toxi-infections, botulism ... food poisoning is a danger to the health of the whole family. In France, a third of these intoxications occur at home. ANSES recalls the rules to respect.

What is food poisoning?

  • Foodborne illnesses are diseases resulting from ingestion of food contaminated with a pathogen or a harmful micro-organism. The most common types of infections in France are salmonellosis, listeriosis, staphylococcal toxin infections and botulism. Most often, it is the bacteria that are involved, even if parasites and viruses can also cause poisoning.
  • Poorly preserved foods, insufficiently cooked, transfers of contaminants between foods ... ANSES (National Agency for Food Safety, Environment and Labor) recalls the main risks and the rules to limit them.

1. The hands? Always impeccable

  • Always clean hands are essential, we can never repeat enough! Before and during meal preparation, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.

2. Gastroenteritis? Increased vigilance

  • One avoids to start in the preparation of the meals in case of gastro. We delegate! If this is not possible, we remain even more vigilant about washing hands and we favor foods that require little preparation.

3. Is it ready? In the fridge

  • If they are not eaten immediately, the food is placed in the refrigerator no later than 2 hours after preparation.

4. The fridge? Nickel

  • The refrigerator needs to be cleaned regularly as it can eventually become a real microbe nest. Other good reflexes: always pack food and clean immediately if one of them gets inside the fridge.

5. Always fridge? At the right temperature

  • It is important to keep the temperature of the coldest zone between 0 and +4 C °. It is also thought to regularly check the tightness of the doors.

6. Ready meals? Quickly eaten

  • Non-prepackaged foods, catered foods, ready meals, cream pastries must be kept cool and consumed within 3 days of purchase.

7. Minced meat? Attention to cooking

  • Pregnant women, young children (but also the elderly or immuno-depressed) must consume minced meat cooked to heart to protect themselves from pathogens.

8. The raw? We forget

  • A special board future moms and young children. Consumption of raw meat or fish and dairy products with raw milk is formally discouraged.

9. The baby's bottle? Cool but not too long

  • Baby bottles and baby meals should not stay more than an hour at room temperature or more than 48 hours in the fridge.

10. Cutting board? We play the duo

  • With each type of food his cutting board is the last advice given by ANSES. One for raw meat and fish, another for cooked products and clean vegetables. And we always use clean dishes and utensils once the food is cooked.

Karine Ancelet