Food poisoning (foodborne illness) is when you get sick from eating or drinking something that has harmful germs (like bacteria, viruses, or parasites) in it. Two common causes of food poisoning are E. coli and Salmonella.
Good habits like these can help protect your family from food poisoning:
- Buy food from stores that look and smell clean.
- Don’t buy food past “sell by,” “use by,” or other expiration dates.
- Wash your hands often with warm water and soap – especially before and after touching food.
- Make sure food is cooked to a safe temperature.
- Keep raw meat and seafood away from cooked and ready-to-eat food.
- Keep cold foods cold. Keep hot foods hot.
Cooking meals at home is a great way to stay healthy and save money. Make sure you follow these simple steps to keep your family safe from food poisoning.
Shop smart when you buy food.
Shop at stores that look and smell clean. A dirty store or a bad smell can be a sign that food hasn’t been stored safely.
Follow these other safety tips when you choose food at the store:
- Check the expiration (“use by” or “sell by”) dates on everything you buy.
- Don’t buy cans that are leaking, bulging, or badly dented.
- Don’t buy bottles or jars with “popped” lids or broken seals.
- Buy eggs that have been kept in the store’s refrigerated section. Make sure they are free of cracks and liquid.
- Put meat, poultry (like chicken and turkey), fish, and eggs in plastic bags, or separate them from other food in your cart or basket. This will keep them from leaking onto your other food.
- Pick out frozen foods last so they are less likely to thaw before you get them home.
- Make sure frozen food packages aren’t open or crushed. Avoid packages with frost or ice crystals – these are signs that the food has become warm and then refrozen.