Every country has its own special foods, and food is prepared differently in different countries. Before your food comes into your house, someone prepares it – someone kills the chicken, someone picks the vegetables, someone puts the food in a package, someone drives it to the supermarket. You never know what your food has touched before you buy it. That is why it’s very important that you clean and cook everything very well. If you don’t, you might get sick.
Salmonella is a bacteria that often lives on meat (chicken, pork, beef, fish, eggs) and some pets, like turtles and lizards. If you eat food with salmonella on it, you might have stomach pain, diarrhea, and a fever. This is called “food poisoning.” It usually ends after a few days, but it is dangerous for babies, young children and elderly (old) people.
Here are a few things that you can do to prevent (not get) food poisoning from salmonella:
- Wash – Wash your hands after you touch raw (not cooked) meat. Wash your knife after you cut raw meat. Clean the place where you cut the meat (your counter or cutting board). Wash everything with antibacterial soap and warm water. If you have salmonella on your hands, you will put it on anything that you touch.
- Separate – Do not let raw meat touch foods that you will not cook. If juice from your chicken gets into your salad, then your salad might have salmonella in it. That’s why it’s important to wash your cutting board with soap and water after you use it for cutting meat.
- Cook – Heat can kill bacteria, so cooking your food will make it safe to eat. Do not eat raw meat.
- Refrigerate – Keep food in the refrigerator if it is perishable (able to go bad or become rotten). Bacteria grows in warm, moist (a little wet or humid) places. The refrigerator is cold and dry, so bacteria does not grow quickly there.