Cooking and health

When heat is used in the preparation of food, it can kill or inactivate potentially harmful organisms, such as bacteria and viruses, as well as various parasites such as tapeworms and Toxoplasma gondii. Food poisoning and other illness from uncooked or poorly-prepared food may be caused by bacteria such as pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium and Campylobacter, viruses such as noroviruses, and protozoa such as Entamoeba histolytica. Parasites may be introduced through salad, meat that is uncooked or done rare, and unboiled water. The sterilizing effect of cooking will depend on temperature, cooking time, and technique used. However, some bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum or Bacillus cereus, can form spores that survive cooking, which then germinate and regrow after the food has cooled. It is therefore recommended that cooked food should not be reheated more than once to avoid repeated growths that allow the bacteria to proliferate to dangerous level. Cooking prevents many foodborne illnesses that would otherwise occur if the food was eaten raw. Cooking also increases the digestibility of some foods such as grains. Many foods, when raw, are inedible, and some are poisonous. For example kidney beans are toxic when raw or improperly cooked, due to the presence of phytohaemagglutinin which can be inactivated after cooking for at least ten minutes at 100 °C. Slow cooker however may not reach the desired temperature and cases of poisoning from red beans cooked in slow cooker have been reported. Preparation, handling, and storage of food are other considerations in food safety. The temperature range from 41°F to 135 °F (5 °C to 57 °C) is the "Danger zone" where bacte

ia is likely to proliferate, food therefore should not be stored in this temperature range. Washing of hands and surfaces, and avoidance of cross-contamination are good practices in food safety. Food prepared on plastic cutting boards may be less likely to harbor bacteria than wooden ones, other research however suggested otherwise. Washing and sanitizing cutting boards is highly recommended, especially after use with raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Hot water and soap followed by a rinse with an diluted antibacterial cleaner, or a trip through a dishwasher with a "sanitize" cycle, are effective methods for reducing the risk of illness due to contaminated cooking implements. Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards. Food can transmit disease from person to person as well as serve as a growth medium for bacteria that can cause food poisoning. In developed countries there are intricate standards for food preparation, whereas in lesser developed countries the main issue is simply the availability of adequate safe water, which is usually a critical item. In theory food poisoning is 100% preventable. The five key principles of food hygiene, according to WHO, are: Prevent contaminating food with pathogens spreading from people, pets, and pests. Separate raw and cooked foods to prevent contaminating the cooked foods. Cook foods for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens. Store food at the proper temperature. Do use safe water and cooked materials.