Last week was my son’s birthday and we planned to take the kids for a walk to the lake park. We decided to make a salad and pack up some sandwiches and drinks for a picnic. We prepared sandwiches at night and took with us on the morning flight. By midday we were at the lake. As we spread the sheets on the grass, the children got hungry and ask for food. When I opened the basket, I smelled a strange smell.
Chicken stuffed sandwiches smell bad. The food was bad. Fortunately, we found out that it had gotten worse and decided not to take it. Such situations happen to each of us in our daily life. We often prepare food at home and then take it somewhere else to eat. Many people serve food from home and serve food to people. As the person who prepares or handles the food, it is your responsibility to ensure that your food does not make guests sick. Food poisoning is a miserable and dangerous experience.
You will need to be extra careful if any young children, pregnant women, the elderly or any sick person are coming to the job. This is because if anyone in these vulnerable groups gets food poisoning, they are more likely to become seriously ill. Even though fresh ingredients are used to prepare the food, it spoils soon. Let’s find out what went wrong?
The most common mistakes that lead to food poisoning are:
- Poor food storage
- Cold foods don’t stay cold enough or hot foods hot enough
- Insufficient cooking
- Not separating raw and ready-to-eat food
Food contamination can occur at any stage whether it is in cooking, transportation or even storage. Improper storage is often reported as the cause of food poisoning outbreaks. Food is left unrefrigerated for a long time, which makes it susceptible to bacteria. If you plan to prepare food for a large group, make sure you have an appropriately sized refrigerator and freezer for food storage and that you use appropriate wrapping paper and food storage bags.
Raw food and ready-to-eat food should never be stored together. This increases the risk of bacterial activity.
Cooked foods that need to be refrigerated should be refrigerated as quickly as possible, preferably within an hour. Avoid placing it in the refrigerator until it has cooled, as this will raise the temperature of the refrigerator. To cool hot food quickly, put it in the coolest place you can find it – often not in the kitchen. Another way is to put the food in a clean, sealable container and place it under a cold tap or basin of cold water, or use ice packs in cold bags. Where possible, reduce refrigeration times by dividing foods into smaller portions.
Once the food is prepared, getting it to the place of residence of the job can be a problem. This can be especially difficult when there are large amounts of perishable foods. Use cold boxes. You will also need to check that the facilities where the job is being held are adequate to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. The right refrigerator and cooker capacity is just as important as the home.
Cooking food thoroughly is the key to killing most of the harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning. Large joints of meat or whole poultry are difficult to safely prepare, so take special care of them, and after learning all this I realized why picnic food spoils. I left chicken sandwiches out of the fridge unrefrigerated for a long time and didn’t bother separating the salads and ready to eat. I could use the cooler box to transport the food. But I think we all learn from our bad experiences.