Many pathogenic microorganisms feel like Pedro for his house with the high temperatures typical of the summer season. Generally, environmental temperatures are already suitable for the proliferation of these microbes. But if we also add the closeness to 30-35 ºC in summer, things get out of control. And with it, food poisoning.
These temperatures favor the growth of pathogenic microorganisms that can reach our food and completely ruin our relaxing weekend on the beach. Luckily, today we will offer you a series of tips so that Don’t Complicate Food Safety in summer and you can enjoy the beauty of tanning. Without having to run to the toilet. Or to the hospital, in the worst case.
As we have already told you in hypertextualfood poisoning they are not a joke. Sometimes we believe that they will only cause us a night of unstoppable passion next to the toilet, but nothing is further from reality. Food poisoning can lead to death in extreme cases, so they deserve to be respected at least. Of course, it is not necessary to panic or obsess. Simply, we must follow some basic food hygiene tips that can help minimize the risk of contagion.
wash your hands please
Today, in the middle of 2022 and after an intense period of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still bars and restaurants that They don’t offer soap in the bathrooms. of their toilets. This terrible microbial misdeed does not deserve to go unpunished. If you come across such a case, I advise you to flee quickly from the place. Not exactly the best of omens. If you decide to stay, it is best to ask the person in charge of the establishment for an adequate form of hygiene for your hooves after going to the toilet. It is the most efficient way to kill pathogenic microorganisms: washing your hands with soap and water.
If you don’t, you will be running the risk of transmitting pathogenic bacteria via the oro-faecal route and a very possible food poisoning. Yes, that is the technical name by which it is known when pathogens find their way into our food. from ass to mouth for not washing our hands after going to the bathroom. More graphics impossible. Some bacteria like Escherichia coli they are found in feces, so if we don’t wash our hands well and then eat the tortilla sandwich we will be playing Russian roulette. A pretty nerve-wracking Russian roulette, by the way. Now, imagine that the one who does not wash their hands is the person who works in a restaurant or bar preparing the sandwiches. Well, you better not imagine it. You already know what can happen.
Beware of the egg, the king of food poisoning
Speaking of omelette, the egg is one of the foods that is most warned about in summer. And it is logical, since it can naturally contain the bacteria Salmonella, capable of causing the gastrointestinal disease known as salmonellosis. In itself, the disease is complicated in adults, but in children and the elderly it can be fatal.
The optimum growth temperature for Salmonella it stands at 37ºC, which is why summer is its favorite setting. Added to all this is the fact that in our gastronomy it is usual eating raw or undercooked eggs, for example through the typical potato omelette. On the other hand, preparations based on raw eggs such as mayonnaise – an essential element of the Russian salad – are also a focus of alert.
In fact, at the legal level it is totally prohibited in Spain that bars and restaurants use fresh eggs to prepare preparations that are not going to be cooked above 75ºC in order to prevent food poisoning by Salmonella. Be very careful, because the undercooked potato omelette that they serve you in the bar on the corner could be illegal. In fact, if you find a small piece of eggshell, it will be an indication that they have used fresh eggs, in violation of the law.
There is some confusion among the population on this legal issue, since many people believe that fresh eggs are absolutely banned in the hotel industry. Not so at all. To cook above 75ºC there is no problem, but when mayonnaise, sauces and pastry creams are made, for example, where there is no heat treatment, then the product must be used known as “egg” or pasteurized liquid egg that is sold packaged and comes with a heat treatment by the food industry.
Don’t leave food out of the fridge
One of the main ways to keep pathogenic microorganisms at bay is by using the cold that our beloved refrigerators give us. Its proper use in summer becomes more important than ever in order to avoid food poisoning. This is because pathogenic bacteria slow down their reproduction with low temperatures. So you better not leave the salad too long out of the fridge. The sooner you refrigerate leftover food, the better.
Still, not all bacteria are subjected to cold. Some are even capable of continuing to grow at temperatures below 5ºC: they are the psychrophilic bacteria. the known Listeria monocytogenes —one of the food industry’s fiercest foes— belongs to this infamous bacterial group, so don’t be fooled. Remember that proper handling beforehand will help you avoid many risks of food poisoning.
Beware of cross contamination, another friend of food poisoning
Precisely, to avoid messing it up during cooking, it is essential do not mix those raw foods with the cooked ones. Nor should it be done with the respective utensils such as knives, boards or other culinary equipment. If we do so, we will be incurring what is known as “cross contamination”, since pathogens from raw foods such as chicken, eggs or fish can reach other raw materials that will not receive heat treatment later. For example, a tomato or lettuce that we use to prepare a salad.
For this reason, it is crucial that we use different cutting boards, well differentiated according to the type of food if possible. Using boards of different colors is a good option: green for vegetables, blue for fish or red for meat. Additionally, it is better than let’s not use wooden boards at home because it is a very porous material that is difficult to clean and can accumulate juices from raw foods such as meat or fish. Plastic or stainless steel will be your best allies to win the game against food poisoning.