Food poisoning can happen to anyone. Unfortunately, our natural ability to distinguish when eating something is a good idea and when it is not is not enough for staying safe. Food will not necessarily give you signals of being spoilt such as unpleasant taste or smell or a weird appearance. Actually, many products and dishes have an ability of getting spoilt unnoticed until you eat them as this is the moment you will be absolutely sure of consuming something funny.
This article will help you to understand the food better which may help you avoid many unpleasant situations or even save your life.
Dairy products are a very specific group of food as many of them are naturally filled with microorganisms. Various products such as yogurts, cheese, sour cream and even butter are undergoing the process of fermentation which is impossible without microorganisms. For that reason, it might be difficult to understand whether cottage cheese is supposed to be a bit more sour or it is spoiling.
Even though fermented products contain microorganisms, it is crucial to understand the species used in them are different from the ones proliferating in these foods when they are getting rotten. Thus, finding a piece of cheese covered with mould does not mean you have happily transformed some cheap product into a delicacy. The mould used for production of particular types of cheese is of a strictly controlled species and the one occurring on the regular cheese naturally has nothing to do with it.
When it comes to dairy products, you should be very careful as they can get spoilt even before their expiration date. This usually happens if they were stored or transported in an inappropriate way and the fault is not necessarily yours. You can easily purchase such a product in the shop.
As a rule, if you see the package of dairy products swollen, it means some microorganisms are actively proliferating there releasing gas. This should not happen to food which is suitable for consumption, thus such swelling of a package is a certain signal of something unwanted going on in a dairy product.
Another widespread danger coming from dairy products is that it is difficult to notice some changes in their appearance. For instance, white mould can start proliferating in them which can be easily noticed in other products, but the white colour of many dairy products can perfectly disguise it.
In order to avoid possible food poisoning caused by dairy products, it is recommended to consume them within maximum two days after opening a package. If you notice any changes in the taste of such a product even if it still has not reached its expiration date, you should not eat it. Never take off layers of mould from any food including dairy products whether it is sour cream or hard cheese. Mould is penetrating the entire product so it will have the mould toxins of various concentration in its different parts.
Products ready for consumption
Many supermarkets are offering packages with products which are prepared for consumption by the supermarket workers. These can be plates with cheese, fruits, vegetable or sausages cut into pieces as well as various salads. When the food is packed by its manufacturer, in the majority of cases it is made by an automatic process which guarantees you a higher possibility of freshness and cleanness of these products. When it is done by shop-assistances, there is a higher possibility of the products being contaminated which should not be necessarily a result of the workers’ poor hygiene. The mere fact you do not know how long the knifes and chopping boards as well as cutting machines are used without cleaning and for which products they have been used before. There is a high risk for such products to be cross-contaminated.
Salads are particularly dangerous as the sources used in them can perfectly mask unpleasant or funny taste as well as unusual texture of the ingredients. It is rather hard to understand a salad is spoilt if it is soaked in mayonnaise or sauces rich in sugar and vinegar.
The best thing you can do is resigning from purchasing these products at all.
Further suggestions for food safety
Certainly, the simplest thing you can do is to check the expiration date in the products you are going to eat. Yet, you should not totally rely on this date as some products might be already spoiling and if you notice anything strange about them, you should just resign from consuming them.
Keep a track on the products with opened packages as you should eat them in the first place. If these are sauces or other products which can be kept in the fridge for a somewhat longer time after opening, you should write the day when you opened the package on them. It is also a good idea to collect all of the products with a close expiration date as well as opened products in one place.
Do not forget to always wash vegetables and fruits even if you are not going to eat their skin.