All precautions taken to prevent food poisoning

All precautions taken to prevent food poisoning
KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health withdrew all chicken stock of a certain brand from public hospitals and stopped all dealings with it after finding out that the chicken supplied by the company was contaminated with salmonella. Dr Nawal Al-Hamad, Food and Nutrition Department Manager at the Ministry of Health, who is in charge of catering at all public hospitals, said it was being ensured that all meals served at any public hospital are healthy and completely safe. “I deal with prevention and care of the food served in the public hospitals.

We stopped dealing with a certain company after contaminated chicken was found. In fact, we take strict measures regarding the food we purchase and do not accept any chicken if it weighed more than one kg. The bigger sized chicken is more prone to risk and is harder to cook well. We have never received a case of poisoning as far as hospital food was concerned, though cases from restaurants are reported,” she told the Kuwait Times. The Food and Nutrition Department is regularly recording samples from the factory of the supplying company in case of chicken and meat. “We have to systematically check the food coming to the hospital to ensure that it is safe, especially since the consumers are patients who are already at a bigger risk. It is common for the chicken to have salmonella, but the birds are administered antibiotics through food or are fed organic food.

In both cases, we examine them. Also, as per the rules, we do not receive fresh chicken and only take frozen one to reduce the risk,” added Al-Hamad. The chicken and meat are not the only risky food. “Even milk, eggs and other dairy products are risky. So people should take care not to eat cracked eggs in any case.

They should always check that the eggs are not broken as in that case, something may get into these and the eggs can become contaminated. Also it is important how the food is stored. Sometimes the milk is spoilt due to transportation or poor handling,” she explained. Al-Hamad also gave some advice for consumers in general. “It is not only about the product and what mattered more is how we cook. The meat should always be cooked at a high temperature as heating the inner moist tissue kills the microbes. There should not be any blood inside the meat which may increase the risk. At the hospitals, we only have boiled meat, not grilled. The same thing should be applied to eggs and these should be cooked well and not just half done or dipped in water,” she pointed out.

By Nawara Fattahova, Kuwait Times Staff
- Kuwait Times