TYLER, Texas — When handling food, any experienced cook will say safety is paramount to preventing cross contamination.

UT Health dietitian Natalie Roberts says food poisoning can potentially be deadly.

“It could be caused by toxins, parasites, bacteria, contamination with feces from animals in the slaughterhouse,” Roberts said. “And those illnesses can cause people to have a lot of GI symptoms and even go to the hospital. They are putting people at risk for death as well.”

Some symptoms include:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps

To avoid cross-contaminating your food, Roberts says you should remember these four steps:

  1. Clean: Make sure to wash your hands
  2. Separate: Use different cutting boards for different meats you plan to cook to avoid cross-contamination
  3. Cook: Make sure you cook your food at the proper temperature. Use a thermometer  will help you make sure to do so
  4. Chill: Make sure you chill your food two hours after cooking it

 For more food safety tips visit FoodSafety.gov.

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