Food Safety Precautions-Food Poisoning Prevention

Food poisoning also referred to as food borne illness, is very common an indeed is preventable. Basic food safety habits that will go a long way in preventing your family from getting food borne illness. As you prepare your children’s and family’s food, even purées for young babies, it is important to understand how to prevent food borne illness, which can be dangerous for all members of your family, but especially to babies and young children. Food borne illness is caused by eating or drinking contaminated food or beverage. Most food borne illnesses are caused by microscopic, disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. However, bacteria are the leading cause of food borne illnesses.

Some types of bacteria grow in food and in your digestive system once you eat the contaminated food. Salmonella is a common example of this type of bacteria. It is most often found in poultry, pork, water, and unpasteurized milk. Other types of bacteria produce toxins. E. Coli (Escherichia coli) is an example of bacteria that can produce toxins. Some toxins can lead to severe and fatal illness.

Food borne Illnesses Prevention:

  • Wash your hands very well:
-after handling raw meat, poultry, fish, and fresh produce,
-before eating,
-after using the washroom,
-after changing a diaper .
  • Encourage frequent hand washing among all family members.
  • Cook and reheat foods very well, to 74º C (165º F) or higher.
  • Refrigerate foods promptly at 4º C (40º F) or lower.
  • Freeze foods properly at minus 18º C (0º F) or lower.
  • Keep your kitchen clean by washing counters, cutting boards, knives, and other equipment after each meal.
  • Sanitize counters, cutting boards, knives, and other equipment with a mild bleach solution.
  • To prevent infant botulism, a very dangerous infection, do not give honey to babies less than one year of age.
  • Do not use or consume unpasteurized milk or milk products.
Here is a Safe Internal Cooking Temperatures Chart-SOURCE: HEALTH CANADA
Meat, poultry, eggs and fish Temperature
Beef, veal and lamb (pieces and whole cuts)
Medium-rare 63°C (145°F)
Medium 71°C (160°F)
Well done 77°C (170°F)
Mechanically tenderized beef (solid cut)
Beef, veal 63°C (145°F)
Steak (turn over at least twice during cooking) 63°C (145°F)
Pork (for example, ham, pork loin, ribs)
Pork (pieces and whole cuts) 71°C (160°F)
Ground meat and meat mixtures (for example, burgers, sausages, meatballs, meatloaf and casseroles)
Beef, veal, lamb and pork 71°C (160°F)
Poultry (for example, chicken, turkey) 74°C (165°F)
Poultry (for example, chicken, turkey, duck)
Pieces 74°C (165°F)
Whole 82°C (180°F)
Egg dishes 74°C (165°F)
Fish 70°C (158°F)
Shellfish (for example, shrimp, lobster, crab, scallops, clams, mussels and oysters) (Since it is difficult to use a food thermometer to check the temperature of shellfish, discard any that do not open when cooked. Learn more.) 74°C (165°F)
Others (for example, hot dogs, stuffing, leftovers) 74°C (165°F)
Game Temperature
Chops, steaks and roasts (deer, elk, moose, caribou/reindeer, antelope and pronghorn)
Well done 74°C (165°F)
Ground meat
Ground meat and meat mixtures 74°C (165°F)
Ground venison and sausage 74°C (165°F)
Large game
Bear, bison, musk-ox, walrus, etc. 74°C (165°F)
Small game
Rabbit, muskrat, beaver, etc. 74°C (165°F)
Game birds/waterfowl (for example, wild turkey, duck, goose, partridge and pheasant)
Whole 82°C (180°F)
Breasts and roasts 74°C (165°F)
Thighs, wings 74°C (165°F)
Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird) 74°C (165°F)
Recommended storage times
Food Refrigerator
Meat, poultry and eggs
Fresh beef, veal, lamb, and pork steaks 3-4 days 6-12 months
chops 3-4 days 4-6 months
roasts 3-5 days 4-12 months
Variety meats: tongue, liver, heart, and kidneys 1-2 days 3-4 months
Ham cooked whole ham 7 days 1-2 months
cooked half ham 6-7 days 1-2 months
cooked slices 3-4 days 1-2 months
Hamburger and stew meat 1-2 days 2-4 months
Ground turkey, veal, pork, and lamb 1-2 days 3-4 months
Chicken and turkey whole 1-2 days 1 year
pieces 1-2 days 6-9 months
Giblets (heart, liver, kidney and gizzard) 1-2 days 3-4 months
Hot dogs (Use by ‘Best Before’ date) opened package 1 week 2 weeks
unopened package 2-3 months 2-3 months
Luncheon meat (Use by ‘Best Before’ date) opened package 3- 5 days 1- 2 months
unopened package 2 weeks 1- 2 months
Bacon and sausages (Use by ‘Best Before’ date) bacon 7 days 1 month
raw sausage (chicken, turkey, pork and beef) 1-2 days 2-3 months
Eggs fresh raw Use by ‘Best Before’ date 4 months (blended eggs)
fresh yolk and white 2 – 4 days 4 months
hard cooked eggs 1 week Not recommended
Small game (for example rabbit, and squirrel) 1-2 days 6-12 month
Big game such as venison (for example deer, elk, moose, caribou/reindeer, antelope and pronghorn) and bison 2-4 days 6-12 months
Ground meat from game 1-2 days 2-3 months
Game stew, soup or casseroles 3-4 days 2-3 months
Opened canned game products (for example soup and stew) 3-4 days 2-3 months
Raw wild birds (for example, whole duck, pheasant, goose and ptarmigan) 1-2 days 3-6 months
Cooked duck or goose 3-4 days 2-3 months
Raw giblets 1-2 days 3-4 months
Cooked fish 1-2 days 4-6 months
Fatty fish: mullet, ocean and sea perch, char, sea trout, striped bass, salmon, mackerel, bluefish and tuna 2-3 days 2-3 month
Pollock, ocean perch and sea trout 2-3 days 4 months
Fresh lean fish: cod, flounder, haddock, halibut and perch 2-3 days 3-6 months
Smoked fish Herring 3-4 days 2 months
Cold-smoked salmon and white fish 5-8 days 2 months
Hot-smoked salmon and white fish 14 days 6 months
Other smoked fish 1-2 weeks 4-5 weeks
Opened canned fish 1 day Not recommended
Lobster Cooked 1-2 days 6-12 months
Tails 1-2 days 6 months
Shrimp Raw 1-2 days 6-12 months
Cooked 3-4 days 3 months
Crab Cooked 3-5 days 2 months
Clams and mussels De-shelled (shucked) 1-2 days 3-4 months
Scallops De-shelled (shucked) 1-2 days 3-4 months
Live oysters De-shelled (shucked) 1-2 days 3-4 months
Opened canned shellfish 1 day Not recommended
Leftovers and prepared foods
Leftover cooked meat and poultry meat and casseroles 3-4 days 2-3 months
gravy and meat broth 3-4 days 2-3 months
fried chicken 3-4 days 4 months
poultry casseroles 3-4 days 4-6 months
plain poultry pieces 3-4 days 4 months
pieces covered with broth or gravy 3-4 days 6 months
Prepared salads macaroni salad and tuna salad 3-5 days Not recommended
(does not freeze well)
Cooked stuffing 3-4 days 1 month
Soups and stews (with meat or vegetables) 3-4 days 2-3 months

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Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child’s physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.