Spring and summer is the best time for bacteria to grow and spread, so more attention to hygiene is necessary, including caution in your food handling habits.
The warmer weather means foods that are not stored properly will be prone to rancidness, mould or bacterial contamination, all causing food poisoning.
Wash your hands
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and wipe them before handling food, especially after handling rubbish bins, going to the toilet, or touching animals.
Clean the kitchen
To prevent the spread of bacteria in your kitchen, thoroughly clean all counters, cookers and wash basins before and after preparing food, especially after handling raw food. You do not have to use antibacterial sprays or disinfectants, because soap and hot water is enough.
Wash eating utensils
Food left on cutlery and crockery becomes rancid and produces bacteria if left for too long in hot weather. Thoroughly wash bowls and dishes after using them, and keep them dry before using them again. Towels used to wipe eating utensils and plate racks also need to be cleaned regularly, as dirty fabrics with wet environments make a perfect home for bacteria.
Separate cooking utensils
A very important precaution is to keep raw meat away from cooked foods, and use separate cutting boards, plates or knives. It is surprising how many people ignore this. Salads, fruit and bread are not cooked before you eat them, so any bacteria invading these foods goes into your stomach.
Cook food well
Make sure red meat, poultry or fish are cooked well before you eat them. Meat is home to many pathogens, especially E. coli. If these foods are not cooked thoroughly, the pathogens will not be killed, and can cause poisoning or serious digestion problems.
Set the fridge at 5º C
You may think that food stored in the refrigerator will not spoil. However, if the fridge temperature is not low enough, food can quickly turn bad. In the summer, the fridge temperature should be about 5º C. Also, do not store food in the fridge for too long.