Keeping healthy this summer…

At last hopefully we can say the summer has arrived…now the most important thing is for you to be able to enjoy it safely, healthily and bug free. Whatever you’re cooking up this summer, keep food safe and fresh for all to enjoy. Most of us like to eat outdoors when the sun shining so it is most important to prevent food poisoning from bugs such as E.coli O157, salmonella and campylobacter.

They can cause serious illness ranging from vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, nausea. The body becomes infected with the nasty bacteria. Recovery can take some time and will need medical treatments along with replenishing good bacteria with pro-biotics to rebalance the natural flora.

When you’re barbecuing the biggest risk of food poisoning is from raw and undercooked meat. These can contain food poisoning bacteria. Ensure while reheating or cooking chicken, burgers, sausages and kebabs until they’re piping hot all the way through. The center of the food product takes the longest to fully cook, so ensure none of the meat is pink and juices run clear.

The heat is intense a barbeque which leads the food on the outside to burn and blacken very quickly. The key is to keep turning the food and moving it around to ensure it is evenly cooked. The other main danger with barbecue food is the carcinogenic component of the char on the food itself. This can even happen when grilling food, to reduce this impact always marinade your meats/veg in a sauce for 6-8 hours where possible. The marinade will make the food more moist and reduces burning of the food.

Use fresh meats wherever possible. If using frozen produce ensure it is properly thawed before you cook it. Ensure your barbeque is ready with charcoal glowing red before you start to cook.

Bacteria can also transfer onto food from your hands and utensils by cross contamination. You can prevent it by washing your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat. Use separate utensils and plates for raw and cooked meat.

Warm summer weather is perfect for bacteria to grow, so it’s especially important to keep ‘hot foods hot’ and ‘cold foods cold’ until you’re ready to eat them.

Ensure foods containing cream, soft cheeses, meat and poultry, raw eggs are kept chilled until immediately before use. Always try to wash your hands before eating but, if you can’t, you could use antiseptic hand wipes instead.

If you suffer from hay fever, allergies, allergic rhinitis or hives or anything like that you may need to avoid fruits like kiwi, strawberries and bananas, they are the main culprits especially the strawberries as they are in season so people extend to eat way too many. They are delicious, they are good for you but they are also naturally high in histamine. If your body is struggling to break it down you can end up with allergies and irritations, so keep an eye out.

Keep very hydrated of course. Lack of sufficient water intake during warmer periods can cause all sorts of ill health problems, tiredness, headaches, sleep problems, tummy upsets, and skin problems and lots lots ore. Hydrate with plenty of wage rover the course of the day.

Remember to protect your food from insects, birds and pets, which can carry bugs and germs by keeping it fully covered until ready to eat. Always Wash fruit, vegetables and salads thoroughly with fresh water or lightly salted water or diluted white vinegar. Enjoy!