Food Contamination

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Food Contamination
Definition
Food contamination refers to foods that are spoiled or tainted because they either contain microorganisms, such as bacteria or parasites, or toxic substances that make them unfit for consumption. Food contamination is a serious issue because it results in foodborne diseases. Hence, awareness of potential sources of food contamination is an important component of good nutrition. Food contamination refers to the presence in food of harmful chemicals and microorganisms which can cause consumer illness.

Food gets contaminated after a certain period of time because bacteria start growing in it. Food contains certain preservatives like salts and other chemicals. However, they do not last long and so if food is not frozen or heated up, bacteria will grow and take up nutrients it needs from food. Putting food in the fridge will only pause the replication of bacteria but will not kill them. They must be frozen or heated up. bacteria is everywhere, some might not cause an infection, some will. How does food get contaminated?

Food contamination can be microbial or environmental, with the former being more common. Environmental contaminants that can enter the food supply chain include pesticides, heavy metals, and other chemical agents. Many opportunities exist for food to become contaminated as it is produced and distributed. To start with, bacteria are present in the animals raised for food. Meat and poultry can become contaminated during slaughter through cross-contamination from intestinal fecal matter. Similarly, fresh fruits and vegetables can be contaminated if they are washed using water contaminated with animal manure or human sewage. During food processing, contamination is also possible from infected food handlers. Lastly, poor hygiene in the home is also a factor. Prevention of food contamination

As with any meal, always wash your hands first.
Prepare your child's lunch on a clean surface using clean utensils. •Wash fruits and vegetables well before cutting them or placing them into your child's lunch bag. •Only use leftovers from the night before once and keep lunches in the fridge until your child is leaving for school. •Use an insulated lunch bag with a small ice pack or frozen juice box for foods that need to stay cold. •Put foods that need to stay hot in a thermos.

Be sure to keep reusable containers clean by washing well with warm soapy water Best drinks
Water and milk are the best drinks for children. They can be frozen to help keep foods in the lunch box cool. Sweet drinks such as fruit juices, juice drinks, cordials, sports drinks, flavoured mineral waters, soft drinks and fizzy drinks are high in sugar and not necessary. These drinks can increase the risk of tooth decay, are filling and may take the place of healthier foods.

A healthy lunchbox should help to improve your child's attention, behavior and learning throughout the day and into the afternoon. It should provide one third of your child's daily requirements of nutrients. It should contain:

a source of protein to keep children alert
complex carbohydrates for slow-release energy
calcium for growth, healthy bones and teeth
Safe Packing
A packed lunch carries the added responsibility of keeping the food safe to eat. That means keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold. One study found that less than a third of parents included a cold pack when packing yogurt, deli-meat sandwiches, and other foods that need refrigeration. Here are some suggestions to keep foods safe when packing your child's lunches: •Wash your hands first.

Use a thermos for hot foods.
Use cold packs or freeze some foods and drinks overnight. They'll thaw in the lunch box. •Wash out lunch boxes every day or use brown paper lunch bags that can be discarded. •Toss in some moist towelettes to remind kids to wash their hands before eating- and to clean themselves up afterward. How do I make sure my child's lunch...
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