When a person is undergoing mesothelioma treatment, his or her immune system is greatly compromised. This is an especially important time to stay healthy, so it’s vital that cancer patients and their caregivers take extra care to keep food safe. During the holiday season, many people cook more than they do throughout the year, so this is a good time to talk about food safety. Here are four basic tips to help you keep your food nutritious and safe.
- Wash, wash, wash! Bacteria easily spread in the kitchen, and can contaminate sink handles, utensils, countertops, cutting boards, and other surfaces. Be sure to keep all kitchen surfaces germ-free by cleaning with an antibacterial cleanser. Also thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables and make sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds before touching any food.
- Keep foods separate. To keep bacteria from spreading, keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate. Use separate knives and cutting boards for these foods, and be sure to wash hands before and after handling them.
- Cook food thoroughly. Meats must be heated to certain temperatures to kill any germs and bacteria they may harbor. Follow the U.S.D.A. guidelines for temperatures, and use a good meat thermometer to make sure your temps are accurate.
- Keep food refrigerated. When you have finished eating a food, be sure to refrigerate it within one hour to slow the growth of any bacteria. Also, be sure your refrigerator is at 40 degrees, and your freezer at 0 degrees or below.