According to the CDC, you're more likely to get food poisoning by eating at restaurants, yet it is important to take precautions against food bourn illness at home. Good kitchen habits can prevent even mild irritations resulting from tainted or ill-prepared foods.
First, you should be aware of the foods that are most likely to be affected by bacteria, viruses, parasites, chemicals and toxins that can contaminate food. Cross-contamination can also lead to food poisoning. An example of this would be cutting raw chicken on a cutting board, then using the same unwashed surface to cut vegetables on. Bacteria or there toxins from the raw chicken may contaminate the produce.
Here are the "most likely" foods to become contaminated:
Chicken, beef, port, turkey
Vegetables and fruit
Raw milk, cheese and other dairy products
Seafood and raw shellfish
You can reduce your chances of becoming ill by knowing where the most risk lies and by learning safe food-handling techniques. These include:
When preparing meat, poultry, and eggs, always use a food thermometer to ensure proper cooking time (refer to this chart for cook times).
Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling any of the above foods, and between handling different types of foods. Use a paper towel to dry hands.
Always clean all surfaces touched by foods. Use anti-bacterial products, or place utensils and cutting boards in the dishwasher where hot temperatures will kill bacteria.
Wash knives thoroughly in between cutting if using them for different foods
If you use a sponge to clean, throw it in the dishwasher daily to sanitize it. Also replace a sponge once a month.
Don't freeze, thaw and freeze again. Once food is thawed, use it.
Wash all produce with soapy water and rinse well.
Refrigerate food that is perishable within 2 hours, if within 1 hour if the temperature outdoors is 90 degrees or higher.
Share these tips for safe food handling with family members and caregivers to avoid short term or longer term sicknesses. Food poisoning can make you sick from 24 to 48 hours, and may also trigger long-term health problems like irritable bowel syndrome and reactive arthritis.