Taking Care of Your Inner Health 2.
The first of these two Inner Health articles dealt with diet, healthy eating and exercise habits. This article deals with hygiene and avoiding the dreaded “tummy bugs.”
Poor hygiene can lead to food poisoning and gastro-enteritis. The biggest cause of food poisoning is transmitted from the hands of people who do not thoroughly wash them after visiting the toilet. A few weeks ago, when I first started planning these articles I decided to do a private poll on how many men fail to wash their hands after visiting the toilet. The result was a real scary 60%. Obviously this figure cannot be claimed as totally accurate because I did not hang around public toilets for long periods; instead I just took my time when visiting a public toilet, washing and drying my hands thoroughly. During this period I found that around 40% walked out without washing and a further 20% just flicked their hands under running water. Parents please note that the time to educate your children about washing their hands starts as soon as the start going to the toilet alone. Habits that start in early childhood usually remain with us.
Storing food is important, more so in hot weather when bacteria flourish on the surface of chilled or frozen food which start to warm up in the hot boot of a car as you drive home from the supermarket. The same applies to storing food in an inefficient or overloaded refrigerator. Here are some tips:
– Meat that is not frozen should be covered and refrigerated at a minimum temperature of 37 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees C). It must be covered fully and aluminum foil is better than plastic wrap to ensure that light doesn’t penetrate.
– We all re-heat food at times and most are guilty of just warming rather than heating. Bacteria thrive on cooked meat surfaces and warming doesn’t destroy bacteria. If you are re-heating please re-heat thoroughly to ensure that bacteria does not survive.
Certain people have allergies to various things such as: dairy products, nuts, shellfish etc. and eating these foods may result in diarrhea, palpitations or a skin rash. Others simply have food intolerance and find that their insides react to particular substances. If this problem is persistent it may be due to an underlying disease and you should visit your doctor. When the problem is identified it will be possible to avoid the offending foods and limit the recurrence.
When you are fully sure that your actions and habits are compatible to good food hygiene you are able to identify problems in those around you early and obtain early medical action to cure them. If your hygiene isn’t up to standard you can never be sure when a health problem exists. – It’s worth the effort to take care of your inner health for your own peace of mind.
This article is copyright © David McCarthy 2006 and may be reproduced in its entirety with no additions.