Monday, November 17, 2008

Food Safety - Part 3 - Rice Contamination - Bacillus cereus

There are many different ways for food to become contaminated. Once contaminated it should be disposed of properly. Avoid food poisoning and therefore its sometimes deadly effects by knowing the proper means of handling and preparing your food. Learn to recognize the different symptoms of the various kinds of food poisoning and its effects.

Bacillus cereus produces two types of food poisoning. The first one is a relatively mild form of food poisoning that causes diarrhea and stomach pains. The symptoms usually occur 8 to 12 hours after eating contaminated food. The symptoms generally last for about 12 hours. The second type of food poisoning is more serious and causes intense vomiting and diarrhea. The symptons generally occur 1to 5 hours after eating food that is contaminated. Both types of food poisoning are caused by a toxin produced by the bacteria and are normally not fatal. The first type may occur in a wide variety of foods including rehydrated dried vegetables, soya bean sprouts and potato products. The second type is mostly associated with cooked rice that has been left exposed to room temperature for an extended period of time.

These types of food poisoning can be prevented by using proper hygiene, by not leaving cooked foods for long periods at room temperature and insuring that all foods are cooked to a proper temperature that is high enough to destroy any bacteria. Once heated or properly cooked foods, such as rice, are cooled, they should be immediately refrigerated to prevent contamination.

Staying above the water line!


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