Understanding Food Safety

By: the American Institute for Preventive Medicine

Although these days most of us are concerned with fat and fiber more than we are with poisoning and pesticides, it is important not to forget that food can affect our health in more ways than one. After all, we eat the stuff. Fortunately, many of the problems that tainted food presents can be prevented by careful selection, handling, preparation, and storage.

Food safety is, in fact, an essential part of healthy eating. Underestimating the danger of food-borne illness, pesticides and other harmful food dangers can cause sickness and even, in some cases, is fatal. Therefore, learning about what to avoid in foods, how to cook and store items and what the components added to our foods are is very important. In this article, we'll examine the following food safety topics:


  • Food-Borne Illnesses Also sometimes referred to as "food poisoning," food-borne illness can be a serious concern. Prepared or served improperly, fish, raw fish and shellfish and other items can cause short-term or serious illness, and in some cases, death. However, so can incorrect food preparation and storage. Learn how to safely select, cook and preserve foods.
Some toxins appear naturally in foods without being added. Seemingly harmless foods such as peanuts, potatoes and celery can all pose risks when they become no longer fresh or are eaten in excessive quantities. Get information about what toxins exist, signs to look for and when to throw out various food items.
  • Food Additives Despite their somewhat dubious reputation, not all additives put in food are bad; in fact, some additives can actually improve food's freshness, content and flavor. But how do you know which additives are helpful, and which are harmful? Find out what food additives, such as aflatoxin, are almost unavoidable, which are beneficial, what often-used additives do to food and which ones you should avoid.
  • Food and PesticidesPesticides, used to protect and enhance produce, have come under fire in recent years. Concerns that the chemicals used to grow produce might be making consumers sick has led to generally negative feelings toward pesticides -- and a boom in organic produce. Rinsing produce alone won't always rid it of pesticides. Find out why pesticides are used, what to avoid and also, how to reduce the risk of ingesting pesticides that may be present on your food.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.