Food Safety and Food Borne Diseases Essay

644 Words 3 Pages
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), food borne diseases cause an estimated 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. For many students, college is the first time many of you ever had to think about buying your own food or cooking for yourselves. As a result, many students are not educated in proper food safety precautions which can prevent many of these food borne diseases.

Storing your food in the proper conditions is the first step in proper food safety. For meat, fish, and poultry, it is best to keep them in the coldest part of your refrigerator, which in most cases is in the drawers or the back of the bottom shelf. Storing meats on the top
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To ensure the maximum quality of these items it is important to store them in areas of the fridge which remain the coldest. Try to avoid storing them on the door of the fridge because as it is constantly being opened and closed, the items that are stored on the door are not as cold. If you’ve purchased a carton of eggs before the date expires, you should be able to use them safely for three to five weeks after expiration. Milk will last up to a week after its expiration date. Despite what you may think, moldy block cheese is still safe to eat if the mold and an inch of the surrounding area are cut off.

As for raw fruits and vegetables, these can last anywhere from a couple days to a few weeks before spoiling. For best quality, store ripe fruits and veggies in the refrigerator. Some dense raw vegetables such as potatoes, onions, and tomatoes can be stored in cabinets at cool room temperatures. It is important to remember after cooking, all vegetables must be refrigerated or frozen within two hours.

When it comes to frozen foods, one may wonder just how long can I (use either pronoun twice, but not both) freeze that for? According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), frozen foods are safe indefinitely, so their expiration dates apply only to quality and nutritional value. To ensure the best test and nutritional value of your food, freeze food as soon as possible in either its original packaging or freezer safe bags.
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