Most of us don’t think twice before eating, whether we’re at home or out in a restaurant. We should be able to expect clean, safe, and properly-prepared meals, but that isn’t always the case. Food-related illness and injury are more common than you might think, but there are things that you can do to keep yourself as safe as possible. The last thing any of us want to deal with, during or after a delicious meal, is feeling sick or biting into something dangerous.
In some cases, the injury is severe enough to result in hospitalization, or even death. Before you sit down to enjoy your food, make sure you do these four things:
One of the common sources of pathogens is undercooked meat, and this can usually be avoided by checking that your meat is cooked to the proper temperature. Use a thermometer to check the doneness, before taking a bite. A basic rule of thumb is 160 degrees and over, especially for poultry and ground meats.
Sometimes, people bite down on unpleasant objects that shouldn’t be in their food. You can be seriously injured by foreign objects in food, like fingernails, sand or rocks, animal bones, shards of glass or metal, and other items. To be extra safe, check your foods for these things, before consuming. This is especially important in thick, opaque foods like soups, stews, and casseroles.
The easiest way that we can prevent food-related illness is by washing our hands before handling and eating food. This applies at both, restaurants and home! Take a few minutes before cooking or dining to thoroughly scrub your hands and wrists, making sure to get under your fingernails, between your fingers, and the backs of your hands as well.
When dining out, paying extra attention may just save your life. If you enter a restaurant, and notice that floors, tables, and countertops are dirty, the cooks aren’t wearing proper safety gear, or you see food sitting out at room temperature for long periods, it may be worth leaving and dining elsewhere. Unprofessional and unsanitary environments can increase your risk for a food-related injury.
While we can do a lot to prevent illness, sometimes these things happen due to the negligence of someone else. If you’ve been injured by foodborne disease or a foreign object in your food, come to the law office of Jonathan R. Brockman and ask for your free consultation.