Food Safety Education: Diet, Nutrition and Your Health

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Food Safety Education: Diet, Nutrition and Your Health

Food safety

You are what you eat, or so the saying goes. When it comes to your health and wellness, the foods you put into your body have a significant impact on your overall health. But do you know how to select and prepare food safely? If not, you’re not alone. Foodborne illness affects many people every year, and poor diet and nutrition contribute to chronic health conditions that plague our society. A panel of experts convened by the World Health Organisation has estimated that foodborne illnesses are responsible for a comparable number of illnesses and deaths in Africa as cancer or tuberculosis

The good news is that by learning some basic food safety and nutrition tips, you can take control of your health and wellness. This article will cover some of the essentials you need to know to keep your diet safe, nutritious, and delicious. Your body and mind will thank you for making these simple changes to how you shop, cook, and eat every day.

Food Safety Basics: Proper Handling, Cooking and Storage.

Proper handwashing

Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling food, especially raw meat, poultry, and eggs. Use warm water and soap, scrubbing all surfaces of your hands for at least 20 seconds.

Safe cooking temperatures

Cook foods to proper internal temperatures to kill harmful bacteria like Salmonella. Use a food thermometer to ensure temperatures are reached.

  • Cook pork, beef, veal and lamb to at least 63°C.
  • Cook ground beef and pork to at least 72°C.
  • Cook poultry (chicken, turkey, duck) to at least 74°C.

Refrigerate promptly

Perishable foods like meat, poultry, eggs, and leftovers must be refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking or removing from the oven or grill. Bacteria grow rapidly at room temperature and can make you sick.

Separate raw and cooked foods

Always use separate utensils and surfaces for raw meat, poultry, and eggs. Wash utensils and surfaces before reusing. Store raw meat on the fridge’s bottom shelf so juices don’t drip onto other foods.

Following these essential food safety steps will help reduce your risk of foodborne disease. Educating yourself and your family about safe food handling and preparation is one of the most important things you can do for your health and well-being.

The Impact of Food Safety on Diet and Nutrition

The food you eat has a significant impact on your health and nutrition. If it’s improperly handled or contaminated, you could get sick. Foodborne illness is no joke; it can cause everything from an upset stomach to hospitalisation or even death.

To avoid foodborne illness, you need to practise good food safety. This means:

  • Clean: Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces. Rinse fruits and veggies.
  • Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Cook: Ensure proper internal temperatures. Cook eggs, meats, and poultry thoroughly.
  • Chill: Refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours.

Following these basic food safety steps reduces your risk of foodborne illness and ensures you get the essential nutrients. Contaminated food may contain harmful bacteria, parasites, or viruses that can cause disease and deplete your body of essential nutrients.

Foodborne illness is particularly dangerous for at-risk groups like young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems. It can lead to malnutrition, developmental issues, and even death.

Practising good food safety at home, school, work, and in your community helps build a healthy food environment for all. Eating safer and more nutritious food allows you to thrive and reach your full potential. Focus on a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Your health and safety depend on the food you eat every day. Take an active role in learning and practising safe food handling to get the nutrition you need for a healthy life.

Foodborne Illnesses: Prevention and Awareness

Foodborne illnesses are caused by eating contaminated foods or beverages. Many people call this food poisoning. Preventing foodborne illness is essential to you and your family’s health.

Safe Food Handling

How you handle food at home is critical. Wash hands before and after handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. Use one cutting board for raw meat and one for other foods to avoid cross-contamination. Cook foods to the proper internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. For example, cook poultry to 74°C.

Keep perishable foods refrigerated within 2 hours of purchasing or preparing them. The “danger zone” is between 4 and 60°C, where bacteria grow most rapidly. Keep your fridge at 4°C or below.

Food Sources

Certain foods are more prone to contamination if not handled properly. Raw or undercooked eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood may contain Salmonella, E. coli, or Listeria. Unpasteurized dairy products and juices can also be unsafe.

Wash fruits and vegetables before eating. Bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria can contaminate produce in the field or during processing and packing.

Symptoms and Treatment

Common symptoms of foodborne illness include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, fever, and dehydration. See a doctor if symptoms are severe or last more than a few days. Treatment focuses on replacing fluids and electrolytes. In some cases, antibiotics may be needed.

You can prevent harmful and potentially life-threatening foodborne illnesses by following safe food handling practices at home, washing produce, cooking foods to proper temperatures, and avoiding unsafe foods. Staying informed and spreading awareness about food safety is critical to public health.


So there you have it. Your diet and nutrition choices matter and can directly impact your health, for better or worse. The more you know about proper food handling, storage, and preparation, the better equipped you’ll be to make healthy choices and avoid getting sick from contaminated foods. Take some time to review the basics and commit to making incremental changes over time. Applying progressive improvements to your food safety practices and education can go a long way in supporting a long, healthy life. You’ve got this – next time you are in your kitchen, wash your hands and check those fridge temperatures! Every step counts.

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