Ways to stop food spoilage and food poisoning- A foul smell can be annoying and they are mostly a result of food spoilage or food poisoning. No matter how tasty your food is when you fail to preserve it in the right way it will spoil. Making such food incapable of being consumed and a complete show of wastage.
When food is left unattended, it gets contaminated by harmful organisms that can not be seen with the bare eyes. Eating a contaminated food could lead to food poisoning. A foul smell is the first step to detecting food spoilage which can be caused by some reasons that you should know.
Causes of Food Spoilage
1. Poor Storage
Leaving out your cheese for days without freezing will make it spoil. Sames goes with your berries and vegetables. The wrong preservation method will do damage to your food. Your freezer should be your kitchen lifesaver. It must not exceed 40F cooling temperature. Freezers are good at protecting your food from bacteria. During a power outage, reduce the number of times you open the door of your freezer to make the coolness last longer.
You should not leave your yogurt open after the first sip only to remember to freeze it three days later. That’s bad! The taste changes when not in the freezer which is a sign of spoilage. Your perishables must be given extra storage caution. Some of such extra cautions and food that you can freeze can be seen here.
Knowing the correct storage method for your groceries goes a long way in giving your food extra lives and saving your money. It can be tiring when you keep going to the store because your foods are spoiling when you do not preserve them properly.
You should have different drawers for designated food items for food that can not be in the freezer. Sealing them in tight containers will also help. Do not assume to have kept a portion of food in the freezer. It is advisable to cross-check at all times to confirm if they are in the freezer.
These are unseen organisms that infect your food to make them unfit to consume due to intending damage it can cause if you do so. They feed on moisture. The presence of water and oxygen makes them multiply. They can be found on well-cooked food when the food is exposed to poor conditions. Bacteria can be tasted, perceived, and appear to change the color of foods. Such as bread turning green or your red meat turning brownish.
These bacteria are sometimes called spoilage bacteria or pathogenic bacteria. Food nutritionists advised that we should avoid exposing our foods to pathogenic bacteria of any kind. Pathogenic bacteria can cause serious illness and kill in the long run. At the perception of any spoilt food, the best solution is to trash it appropriately.
To prevent your food from getting contaminated by bacteria, keep your foods below the 40F temperature, seal them in proper containers, cook very well and practice food hygiene every time.
Difference Between Food Spoilage and Food Poisoning
Food spoilage is simply when food goes bad either becomes poor in taste, color, and smell due to bacteria or wrong storage. While food poisoning is the final stage of food spoilage. When food spoils, it solely means there are bacteria in it which is harmful to human health. When that food is eaten, it becomes, a poison as it contains toxins that can harm any individual.
Mostly, food spoilage leads to food poisoning. Food poisoning when neglected leads to sickness and death due to the presence of pathogenic bacteria.
Kinds of Food Poisoning You Should Avoid
1. Fish Poisoning
This is also called ciguatera. It is caused by eating contaminated fish from shallow rivers or fish that are not preserved at the right temperature. The symptoms of fish poisoning include having troubles with distinguishing between hot and cold weather with a severe stomach ache.
2. Baby Formula Poisoning
Babies can not express themselves as adults when in pain so you should always try to keep your baby foods at the right temperature and you must not make the mistake of exposing the lid. A wrongly exposed baby formula is capable of acquiring bacteria that can cause blood infection and meningitis in your child.
Some of the signs your baby will show when they are infected with this bacteria are sluggishness, poor feeding response, constant crying, high fever stiffness of neck and body. To prevent this, when preparing your baby’s food, boil your water to a heat temperature of 158F before mixing. When the prepared formula is exposed for more than 12 hours, do trash it immediately.
3. Poo Poisoning
Food in contact with poo is not just irritating but is highly infectious to consume. At the slight contamination with poo, it harbors a parasite that can cause a severe breakdown of the body system. The poisoning is most common in young children.
Some signs of the parasite are loss of appetite, tiredness, and diarrhea. To prevent this bacteria from poisoning your food, you should be neat at all times and ensure you change your children’s nappies far away from your kitchen or place of eating.
For adults, the bacteria affect humans from the consumption of raw shellfish or poorly cooked shellfish. To prevent this, hands should be washed properly, surfaces should be clean always and your shellfish must be cooked thoroughly.
4. Meat Poisoning
Another type of poison common in food is Salmonella known as meat poisoning. Sometimes, the bacteria can be found in eggs and cheese. It results from the cooking of sick dairy products or animals. It can be prevented by ensuring you buy your meat from registered stores and market. Freezing meat at the right temperatures and boiling them very well will help too.
5. Water poisoning
When you drink contaminated water or wash your food with contaminated water, you put yourself at the risk of getting infected with the bacteria known as Shigella. The major sources of bacteria are salads and vegetables. There is hardly any food that does not require washing or cooking with water, so all foods can be a source of this poisoning. Avoid using untreated water to cook and swim in pools with adhering to the chlorine levels.
Ways to Prevent Food Spoilage and Poisoning
1. Cook your food well
This method is infact the one most important way to prevent your food from spoiling. Your vegetables should be properly boiled till soft. Do not follow an unapproved method of cooking seen randomly online. Follow the producer’s guide and label.
For your cereal, prepare them using well-heated water. Your meat, chicken, pork, and fish should be placed under steaming conditions to kill likely germs in them. Try not to wash your raw meat and turkey to reduce the risk of spreading bacteria to other parts of the kitchen.
2. Special Storage
Like I told you before, different foods have different methods of preservation. You should know the unique methods to preserve all foods in your kitchen if you want them to last longer. Your perishables must be distinguished from your non-perishables and your freezer must work efficiently to do the cooling exercise for food that hate heat.
Your citrus fruits for instance are perishables, they need instant storage when not consumed. After wash, remember to place all of them in the freezer. The same goes for your cheese and vegetables which you are not ready to turn into a delicious meal. You should check out these methods approved by USDA to preserve different foods.
For your spices, do not refrigerate. Put them in the drawer of your kitchen store. Your tubers should also not be put in the fridge. They should be kept at room temperature and taken off your verandah to prevent the sun from touching them. All dry foods should be kept at room temperature and ensure you use a thermometer to check the temperature of your freezer. By checking the temperature is not exceeding 40F.
While some of your food requires you to apply citric acid before placing them in the freezer, some require sealing properly in the right containers or Ziplocs. Take note that knowing how to preserve any of your food in the kitchen is very important as preserving them too.
3. Consume Leftovers
It is very easy to forget the food you intend to eat later or the one you plan to give to your baby after a short sleep. Have in mind your leftovers and put them in clear places in your kitchen so you can remember to eat them.
When your leftovers begin to cross over to the next day, it loses its taste and texture- a visible sign of spoilage. In this situation, you are left with trashing the food to prevent poisoning after consumption.
An alternative to covering your leftovers is to put them in the freezer till you are ready to eat. When you are ready, pour them into the right microwave container before placing them on the heated tray.
4. Preserve Fresh Foods Fresh
Fresh foods like your vegetable must be stored just as fresh as you bought them. Only wash when you are ready to chop them. But when you are not ready to turn them into your delicious dish, keep them neatly in the freezer. Washing them before placing them in the freezer will make them damp and give bacteria a chance of getting into them.
5. Avoid unpasteurized foods
Milk and fruit juices that are pasteurized are the best for your consumption. Taking unpasteurized foods means you are easily exposing yourself to food poisoning. Pasteurization is a process that helps in killing likely food germs. To know if a food is pasterurized or not do check the labels always.
6. Keep Far from Insects And Pets
Insects in the home are a menace and they can be more annoying when they disturb the peace of your kitchen. Insects most common in the kitchen are ants, cockroaches, and rats. Make sure your drawers are well built and food kept in them is sealed tight in containers. You should also keep your half-used spice like your seasonings in the fridge till you are ready to use them.
Exposing your seasonings or other sugary items will only attract kitchen insects and pests. For instance, leaving your sugar container half-closed will attract ants that will make you end up throwing away the sugar. Your cereals must be kept properly and avoid letting your pets into the kitchen especially your dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the types of food spoilage?
- Physical spoilage
- Microbial spoilage
- Chemical spoilage
Who Is More at Risk of Food Poisoning?s
- Pregnant Women
- Older Adults
- Sick People
The only way to avoid food poisoning is to make sure you avoid food spoilage. There are lots of ways to avoid food spoilage you can employ but the simplest hack is to know that all foods should be stored at their respective storage methods only then will your food stand the test of time and will you also save more.
When you notice some of the symptoms of food poisoning, do not hesitate to meet your medical guide who will provide the best drugs to deal with the pain in your stomach and any other parts of your body.
Look out for the best and approved restaurants to eat at if you cannot prepare your dishes. A clean environment is the first step to choosing a very good restaurant. And whenever you notice a slight pain in your stomach after eating the restaurant’s food, make a complaint to the foodservice management.
If you do not want to go into the restaurants, there are online stores that do food deliveries for snacks, pizza, and also heavy meals depending on the one you prefer. When making purchases for food online, the first and major step to knowing the quality of the food is to read and read again all reviews from the top to the bottom. Food spoilage is harmful and food poisoning can kill when not medically controlled. Be careful!