Foods can get contaminated for many reasons such as due to a lack of the right processing, storage and transportation technologies. Whatever be the reason, it is consumers who are at the receiving end.
Preventing foods from being contaminated and ensuring food safety are vital health concerns. We don’t pay attention; we may incidentally cross our daily limit of tolerable contaminants. It is not possible to make sure that the food you consume is 100 per cent safe, but you can definitely reduce exposure to harmful contaminants.
It is one of the first things that you can do for food safety. Make sure you wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before you consume or cook. Consumption of raw food should be avoided. Moreover, ascertain that you store food in safe temperatures.
What kind of water you drink and use for cooking is important. It is advised to use purified water for cooking. If you are not using purified/treated water, you may consume harmful chemicals such as lead as well as dangerous microbes (bacteria and viruses) which can inflict damage in many ways.
It is always better to buy food from marts/shops where cleanliness is a priority. If the outlet you buy groceries from has no guidelines for cleanliness or hygiene standards, you can jeopardise your health.
Unsealed foods can be risky! Such foods are more likely to be contaminated, and there is also a risk for adulteration. On the other hand, packed foods are safer and less likely to be adulterated. When you buy, ensure that the packaging is intact and that the expiry date is at least a few months away.
Contaminated food can cause long-term health problems; self-awareness can prevent a lot of health issues. Know how contaminants can cause foodborne diseases and concerns such as stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhoea. There can also be long-term health problems, including cancer and neurological disorders.
Pesticides and insecticide residue on produce are concentrated in only a few fruits and vegetables. You must know which fruits and vegetables pose the highest risks. Get to know these foods and take adequate precautions such as washing the food more carefully and peeling the skin.
One of the ways you can stay away from contaminants is by growing your own produce. A small backyard garden can provide enough produce. However, even home-grown produce needs to be washed thoroughly before eating.
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