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Home > Medical Services > Employee Assistance Program (EAP) > Employee Resources & Support > EAP Educational Articles > The Importance of Food Safety
When preparing meals, be sure to follow food safety tips to prevent you and who you’re serving from attracting a foodborne illness. According to the FDA, there are about 48 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually which results in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. When preparing your meals, keep in mind who is most at risk for foodborne illnesses and how to prevent it from happening.
When preparing food, you don’t want anyone to have a foodborne illness from your cooking, especially those who are at more risk. There are certain groups of people who are at more risk for a foodborne illness due to their immune systems being compromised or still developing, such as pregnant women, children, transplant recipients, and people with cancer, diabetes or HIV/AIDS. Those groups of people have to be very cautious with what they eat since a foodborne illness would affect their quality of life.
After unloading your groceries from their separated bags, be sure to put the items in your kitchen where you found them in the grocery store. Items you found frozen, refrigerated or on the shelf should be kept the same at your home. Make sure meat is securely sealed and no eggs are broken.
Before you begin preparing your food, wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to rid your hands of any germs. Next, cut or prepare food on separate cutting boards and bowls, such as meat. Then, cook your food at the correct temperature, and put any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Remember, eating healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and nuts has been proven to improve physical and mental health.