The foods more likely to cause food poisoning are:
Meat and meat products: Freshly roasted or grilled meat, as well as stews and gravies, served hot immediately after cooking, rarely cause food poisoning. However, rolled joints, which require considerable handling by the cook, and in which the surface meat gets rolled into the centre where the cooking temperature may not be sufficient enough to kill bacteria are a high-risk food. Joints should therefore be small enough to allow sufficient heat to penetrate to the centre and kill bacteria.
Shred T3X Cold meats are frequently a cause of food poisoning. They may well have got contaminated after cooking, and are usually left in a warm environment for long periods before serving.
Prepared meat dishes such as pies, patties, rissoles and sausages are very frequently a cause of food poisoning. Care must be taken to cook them sufficiently to kill the offending organisms.
Milk and milk products: Milk bought from your friendly neighbourhood with his unhygienic storage and selling practices, is a very good medium for bacterial growth. Pasteurised milk is free of this risk, but is only available in the bigger cities. So, every milk dish should be served hot or kept in the refrigerator until served. This also applies to cream and cheese.
Curd is generally prepared by mixing a small amount of old curd into fresh, lukewarm milk; this provides an excellent culture medium for bacteria as it supplies nourishment as well as a favourable temperature. And, since the process is repeated daily, the bacteria present in the old sample are carried forward to the next day’s curd and so on. Sometimes curd is made by mixing chopped vegetables into it. If, in this process, the pH (acid: alkali balance) of curd rises above 5, harmful organisms may multiply on storage.
Ice-creams: no doubt, milk used in ice-creams made by a reputed company gets sterilized when it is boiled. But, contamination can occur when it is cooled and flavours and additives added. Bacteria introduced at this stage are not likely to be killed; when the milk is frozen, these become dormant. They then become active again when the temperature rises during transportation or at the time of serving or eating.
Eggs: The shells of eggs may be contaminated with the faeces of the birds that laid them. Under certain conditions of temperature and humidity, these germs can penetrate the shell – quite a common occurrence with ducks eggs. Fortunately, ducks eggs are not commonly eaten.
Rice: Spores of important food-poisoning bacteria contaminate rice and these spores survive cooking temperatures. So, if rice is not to be eaten immediately after it’s prepared, it should be stored in a refrigerator.
Sliced bread and confectionery: as these foodstuffs are generally stored for extended periods in a warm environment – during sale. Transport and at home – they are more likely to harbour harmful germs and provide a conducive medium for their multiplication.
Cold sweets: Cold sweets like custards are suitable media for bacterial growth. They can be contaminated by flies, insects, repeated handling during preparation and sale and long storage at atmospheric temperature (for example, on the occasion of festivals).
The foods less likely to cause food poisoning are:
Salted or Sugar concentrated foods: The high concentrations of salt (in salted meats, anchovies, olives etc.) or sugars (in jams, syrups, and honey) dissolve in water to form concentrated solutions, leaving insufficient moisture for bacterial growth.
Fatty foods: Butter, cooking oil, fatty fish etc.
Acid foods: Pickles, citrus fruits etc.
Dry foods: Cereals and pulses. Properly stored, they do not support bacterial growth in the dry state, but once prepared, they are very good media for bacterial multiplication, and should therefore be stored in a refrigerator.
Canned foods: Unless the can is leaking or is bulging (due to gas produced inside the container), these foods are safe. After they are opened, they must be treated as fresh foods, and similar rules of handling and storage followed.
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