There are some alarming statistics out there with regards to food safety and foodborne illnesses.
For instance, two out of three homes in North America put their families at risk by not exercising good food safety practices at home. There are many simple things you can do to help prevent foodborne illness -- in fact, it’s estimated that over 80% of all cases could have been prevented by following safe food handling guidelines.
Foodborne Illness – The Facts
If food is not handled safely, microbes and pathogens – or bacteria, parasites and viruses – can contaminate foods and make you sick. We call this food poisoning. All foods, including meat, fruits and vegetables have the potential to cause foodborne illness.
You've probably noticed an increase of foodborne illnesses in the news lately.
Many changes in population demographics have affected this situation. How food is produced and consumed has changed and there are more cases of new, drug-resistant disease agents.
Foodborne illness is the largest class of emerging infectious disease. Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada estimate that 11–13 million cases of foodborne illness occur each year, which adds up to an annual cost of $12–15 billion.
Here are the different ways to protect your family against foodborne illness.
- Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often
- Separate: Don't cross-contaminate
- Cook: Cook to proper temperatures
- Chill: Refrigerate promptly