According to the World Health Organization, 600 million people are affected by food poisoning each year. Dietitian Gültaç Dayı Çamır states that cases of food poisoning increase with rising temperatures during the summer months.
Bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins, and chemicals carried into the human body through food can cause food poisoning. The number of food poisoning cases increases significantly during the summer months due to rising temperatures. Dietitian Gültaç Dayı Çamır explains that there are four types of bacteria responsible for food poisoning. The first and most common type of bacteria is “staphylococcus.” Çamır points out that this bacterium can be found in meat, milk, dairy products, and poorly washed ingredients used in salads. After consuming contaminated food, poisoning symptoms can appear within two to three hours, and vomiting may occur.
Bacteria Can Cause Fatal Poisoning
The second most common type of bacteria in food poisoning cases involving meat, milk, and salads is “shigella,” according to Dietitian Gültaç Dayı Çamır. She notes that symptoms of poisoning caused by this bacterium can appear within one or two days. Çamır explains, “This bacterium causes nausea, vomiting, fever, cramps, abdominal pain, and bloody stools.” One of the most severe and fatal food poisoning cases can be caused by the bacterium “clostridium botulinum,” which can be found in canned foods, meats, vegetables, and fruits. Çamır warns, “This bacterium can cause paralysis, obstruct breathing, and result in death.”
What to Pay Attention to When Consuming Meat
Dietitian Gültaç Dayı Çamır emphasizes the importance of not buying products with unclear origins, unknown storage methods, and displayed in open stalls simply because they are cheaper. She advises that those who want to consume meat should purchase it from reputable delis that adhere to standards. Çamır also suggests that consumers can buy packaged products from reliable brands, but it is important to ensure that the packaging is undamaged. She encourages people to adopt the habit of reading labels, checking production and expiration dates, and avoiding the consumption of raw milk due to the risk of disease transmission from animals.
Recommendations for Protecting Food
The most practical method to prevent food spoilage is to store it in the refrigerator or freezer, according to Dietitian Gültaç Dayı Çamır. She advises that cooked food that will not be consumed immediately should be placed in the refrigerator within two hours. Çamır also recommends heating food removed from the refrigerator to over 70 degrees Celsius and not reheating the same food multiple times. She adds, “Do not put thawed food back into the freezer. Avoid contact between cooked and raw foods. Pay attention to personal hygiene. Individuals preparing food should wash their hands with soap for at least two minutes, as this is crucial in preventing food poisoning. Additionally, individuals with cuts or open wounds should not prepare food, or if necessary, they should cover the wounds and use gloves to ensure no contact with food.”
Vegetables and Fruits Should Be Consumed After Thorough Washing
After handling raw meat, eggs, or poultry, Çamır stresses the importance of thoroughly washing hands. She also advises using separate cutting boards and knives when preparing these risky foods and raw vegetables and fruits that will be consumed without cooking. Çamır continues: “Vegetables and fruits should be consumed after thorough washing. Make sure your food is well-cooked. Insufficiently cooked food can lead to harmful bacteria being transported into the digestive system. In case of diarrhea and vomiting, it is essential to rest and increase fluid intake with clean water, buttermilk, mineral water, and unsweetened tea. If you have diarrhea, consume rice porridge, yogurt, bananas, peaches, and boiled potatoes.”
By following these expert recommendations, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of food poisoning and its potentially severe consequences. Being cautious with food preparation, storage, and consumption practices will not only help maintain health but also ensure a safe and enjoyable eating experience during the summer months and beyond.