Having a healthy home means more than being energy efficient. You also want to make sure that all the food in your home is keeping you healthy, too! Foods that are stored, washed or cooked improperly can be home to a plethora of unsavory germs and bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. This can lead to food poisoning, which causes 128,000 hospitalizations and approximately 3,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.
The best way to avoid food poisoning is through prevention. Here are some way to do just that:
- Make sure to wash your hands often.
- Keep your raw foods (meat, fish, etc.) separate from ready-to-eat foods.
- Cook your foods to the proper temperatures…even if you like them rare!
- Check meat temperatures with a food thermometer before eating.
- Keep your refrigerator at 40 degrees farenheit or cooler.
- Don’t microwave foods covered in plastic; chemicals in the plastic can leak into the food.
- Wash raw foods before eating and/or preparing them.
- Don’t leave foods out for more than an hour; refrigerate them!
Of course, besides making sure that your food is safe, you’ll want your water to be safe as well. Generally speaking, tap water is safe for cleaning and for drinking. However, tap water does have small amounts of contaminants in it that can negatively affect young children, the elderly, and those who are pregnant, and those with weakened immune systems. To lower risk factors for those people, you can either purchase bottled water, or get a filter for your tap.