The most dangerous foods on hot summer days
The risk of food poisoning usually occurs on hot summer days. This is a period of high temperatures that trigger a number of chemical and biological processes in food. As a result, the nutritional value of the products is reduced.
Foods that spoil quickly are: minced meat, meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, various sauces, mayonnaise filling, cream cheeses and sour cream.
Doctors note two main causes of poisoning.
The first are pathogenic microorganisms (most often from the Salmonella family) and E. coli poisoning. The rarest and most dangerous type of poisoning is caused by the bacterium botulism, which is found in canned food. Usually canned foods with this bacterium are convex (swollen).
The second type of poisoning is the toxic biochemicals that are added to food mainly due to improper preparation. There is a common misconception that such products can be identified by taste, smell or color. This is not true. Since bacteria cause such changes only after long action. Therefore, often seemingly “right” foods can be dangerous to humans.
Risk groups that need to be careful
Everyone has a certain risk of developing foodborne illness. However, some populations have a higher risk of developing serious complications from poisoning.
Those at the highest risk of developing serious complications associated with foodborne illness are:
- the elderly, infants and young children
- pregnant woman
- immunocompromised individuals, such as those with HIV and cancer.
These groups of people are at greater risk of serious complications following infection with the food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.
For example, to prevent listeria infestation, experts recommend that pregnant or immunocompromised people eat store-bought meat only after it has been heated to 73.8 degrees.
Listeria infection can be fatal to these groups of people and can lead to pregnancy complications such as miscarriage.
For all these reasons, doctors advise pregnant women to avoid high-risk foods such as raw shellfish, gastronomic salads and raw meat.
While serious illness from contaminated food can be rare, you need to take care of your own safety and follow food storage and preparation guidelines to reduce the risk.
Follow the classic safety rules
In summer, it is not advisable to buy food on open shelves, but only in stores with good refrigerators with high traffic, where goods do not last long and where vulnerable products are stored in refrigerators, freezers or display cases.
Fresh meat in summer can be stored for up to 3 days at temperatures up to 8 degrees. You can check the freshness of the meat by pressing it (the fresh pieces will quickly take on their original shape).
It is not worth re-cooking food on the work surface without cleaning, because in the summer harmful bacteria appear in a short time. Heat treatment successfully destroys most microorganisms. Alcohol-based solutions will also be effective.
Food should be cooked carefully, because flawless food risks the growth of harmful microorganisms.
Meals should be served immediately after cooking, as they are exposed to harmful microorganisms at room temperature.
Cooked or cooked food should be stored in the refrigerator.
In the summer months this is the rule Cooked food is reheated only once.
Poisoning symptoms and first aid
Problems begin when pathogens enter the intestines. Our body’s defense mechanisms naturally seek to eliminate these harmful substances from the body, which causes cold sweats, vomiting and diarrhea.
These symptoms are often accompanied by fever and chills. Sometimes it is best to vomit if you are sure you have eaten poisonous food. Timely removal of toxic foods significantly reduces the negative effects of harmful agents.
Some bacteria are extremely dangerous, so the help of a doctor is essential. Frequent vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration, so drink plenty of fluids.
Juices, teas and hot soups are recommended.
Tips for storing food for the summer
Storing food on hot summer days is critical to keeping food biochemically safe.
Foods should be sorted so that raw foods do not come into contact with cooked foods (which may be contaminated).
The shelf life of food in the refrigerator varies:
- Fresh eggs can be stored for up to two weeks, boiled – up to seven days
- Mayonnaise can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 20 days
- Garnishes and sauces with sour cream can be stored for up to 5 days
- dried meat products in open packaging – up to 7 days, in closed packaging – up to 20 days