4 ways to get a foodborne illness you might not know about
When it comes to food poisoning, we often consider the usual suspects. Was that pork cooked long enough? Were those eggs past their prime? Did that pizza sit out too long?
But there are other ways to get a foodborne illness. John Manna, FNP, offered a few examples of things many of us do that would put us at risk for food poisoning.
1. Reusing a water bottle without washing it
Once you’ve finished your plastic bottle of Dasani, don’t refill it and use it again.
“If it’s a disposable water bottle, throw it away after drinking because the plastic degrades and bacteria can grow in it,” Manna explained.
Reusable water bottles that people bring to work every day or into the gym are meant to be reused, but it’s important to clean them out regularly.
“It’s a good habit to put them into the dishwasher or just wash them with hot water and soap,” Manna said. “Make sure you’re also washing out the straws. You can get little tools or brushes that are made for straws that can remove any bacteria.”
2. Not sanitizing wood cutting boards
Because wood absorbs moisture, bacteria can grow on it. If you are using a wood cutting board, make sure you are sanitizing it when you clean it.
Also, be sure to replace commonly used items such as sponges and cloth towels – or better yet, use paper towels.
3. Eating raw dough or batter
Although raw dough and batter tastes good, it is not safe to eat.
“A lot of people think it’s just because of the eggs, but one of the other contributing things you want to think about is the flour,” Manna said. “The raw flour and the eggs can both make you sick from foodborne illness.”
4. Eating something washed with contaminated water
If you’re traveling in a place where it’s not safe to drink the water, it’s best to avoid foods that might have been washed in contaminated water as well, such as raw, unpeeled fruit and vegetables.
Practice food safety habits
“And trust your gut,” Manna said. “If something seems off, don’t take the chance. Throw it away. If you go out to a restaurant and something doesn’t look, smell or taste right, don’t eat it.”
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