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Food poisoning: nutrition expert shares tips for avoiding it

防食物中毒 營養師教你食物保存小撇步

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

With summer comes increased risk of foodborne illnesses. According to statistics from the Food and Drug Administration, cases of food poisoning peak from May to October. However, there are several tips for preserving food that can help people stay away from illness while enjoying great food, according to Nutritionist Liu Pei-feng of Chi Mei Hospital’s department of nutriology.


Liu points out that bacteria tend to grow faster in Taiwan due to the humidity and high temperatures. The rich nutrition in food, which often consists of carbohydrate and protein, supply the bacteria with the nutrients they need to multiply, making food rot more quickly.


Temperatures between five and 60 degrees Celsius are most suitable for bacterial growth. At temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius, bacteria grow very slowly, and at temperatures below -18 degrees Celsius they stop growing altogether, Liu says.


Liu also notes the importance of not storing food for too long. For example, even when properly chilled, fish can stay fresh for only one to two days, while refrigerated eggs will remain good for 15 days. Meanwhile, cooked food must be eaten or refrigerated after two hours. Cooked food that has been left at room temperature for over four hours must be properly reheated before being eaten, or disposed of.


Cooked food and raw food should be placed in the fridge separately, with cooked food on top and raw food on the bottom, to prevent cross contamination.


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