Food poisoning is rampant, and in some cases can lead to serious injury or even death. I’ve seen countless food poisoning cases throughout my years working with clients and have heard devastating stories from doctors with patients who have lost their lives. Fortunately, there are numerous protective measures I share below to help prevent food poisoning at home in the kitchen and when dining out at restaurants.
Your Unique Diet
Everybody subscribes to a different way of eating. Some people choose to eat vegan or vegetarian, while other people choose to incorporate chicken, turkey, and other meats and animal products into their diets. Different ways of eating work best for different people depending on their unique circumstances, lifestyles, and health issues.
The handling of raw animal foods can be especially dangerous if certain precautions are not taken, so it’s important to understand how to safely handle them. Did you know that each year during the Thanksgiving holiday thousands of people suffer from food poisoning caused by underdone turkey? I don’t want you or a family member to spend your next holiday at the hospital or E.R. I want you to learn how to apply the safest possible practices when it comes to preparing your own food and when dining out.
I know each person has his or her unique journey when it comes to food, and I want you to be protected the best you possibly can on that journey. Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, meat eater, pescatarian, or subscribe to a completely different label than these, know that my only goal is to help protect you and support you in living the most vibrant and healthy life you can.
Food Poisoning Consequences
Food poisoning is serious and it is unfortunately very easy to contract. If someone comes down with food poisoning, various strains of E. coli may be wreaking havoc in his or her gut. This bacteria can move through the gut, drill into the linings of the colon or another organ, and may create chaos in the gallbladder and/or appendix. Some people experience ulcerative issues and/or damaged linings in the intestinal tract and colon. In certain cases, people are forced to undergo gallbladder removal surgery or an appendectomy.
Oftentimes if someone suffering with food poisoning goes to the E.R., there is little a doctor can do to offer support except to keep an eye on the patient as he or she rides out the illness. Typically, a doctor will administer fluids through an I.V. to keep the patient from dying of dehydration as the patient endures the vomiting, diarrhea, and/or pain that accompanies his or her unique situation. These symptoms can last for multiple days and time, chance, and luck play major roles in patients’ recoveries.
However, there are many things you can do to help protect yourself from contracting food poisoning. There are also steps you can take if you do develop food poisoning to help heal your body and move past the illness. These tips and suggestions below will help equip you for whatever type of eating scenario you may find yourself in.
Cooking At Home
* People usually prepare meals at home more than they eat out. Cooking at home can be enjoyable, fun, and even meditative for some. Taking these protective measures in the kitchen can ensure greater health and safety for you and your loved ones.
* Take caution when removing chicken, turkey, or any other kind of meat from a package. The packages in the grocery store containing these meats are often covered in as many as a dozen varieties of bacteria including C. diff, MRSA, streptococcus, and Salmonella. Consequently, when picking up or opening the package, harmful bacteria can easily get onto your hands. After taking the package out of the refrigerator and opening it up, it is critical you wash your hands right away. If you do not wash your hands directly after this, you may unknowingly contract a bacteria that could injure yourself or a loved one.
* Make sure your hands are clean when you pick up your knife after touching raw animal foods and their packages or the handle can become contaminated with dangerous bacteria as well. This suggestion may sound overly cautious, but this vigilance can actually keep you and your loved ones safe. Try pulling on a pair of nitrile gloves before taking meat out of its packaging. Once the meat is free of its package and ready to be prepped, you can pull off the gloves and know that you have clean hands to continue your work in the kitchen. You may also want to consider changing out your knife if you think the handle or blade has been contaminated. These are just a few initial steps you can take to help ensure greater safety in the kitchen.
* Rinsing your poultry, beef, or any other kind of raw meat in the sink before cooking it can cause dangerous bacteria to settle in the sink. If you accidentally drop any other foods into the sink while prepping, such as lettuce leaves or veggie slices, they can easily pick up some of this dangerous bacteria.
* Once you transfer your raw chicken, fish, or meat from a plate to the pan or cookware, stick the empty plate into the dishwasher or thoroughly sanitize it. Some people will put their cooked chicken, fish, or meat, back onto the same plate that once held the raw protein, but this is very dangerous. To offer greater protection for you and your loved ones, make sure to transfer your cooked animal protein to a new, clean plate.
* Do you or a family member like to glaze your meat with sauce? If so, it is important to be mindful of how you use the sauce during the cooking process. If someone brushes a raw piece of meat with sauce, bacteria from the meat may collect in the bristles. Oftentimes after this happens, the person will place the brush back into the sauce container and may continue to taste the sauce with his or her finger. He or she may also add more sauce with the contaminated brush once the meat has finished cooking. These actions could easily lead to food poisoning. Being mindful of when you choose to glaze your meat and how you use your sauce brush is critical.
* Be mindful of when you use certain utensils. If you use a fork to transfer raw meat onto a grill, make sure to retire that fork and use another clean utensil when removing the meat from the grill once it finishes cooking.
* Contaminated cutting boards constantly cause issues for people. Oftentimes people will prepare raw meat on a cutting board and then only lightly rinse the cutting board before using it again. Instead, either thoroughly wash and sanitize the cutting board after preparing your raw meat, or, if you want to be even more cautious, have a new, clean cutting board ready to go for any other prep you may need to do. In this instance, make sure the cutting board used to cut raw meat is placed in a different spot or on a different countertop so that the two boards are not confused.
* Clean your surfaces! If juices from a raw piece of meat get on a counter or cutting board and you place a clean plate on top of this area, the bottom of the plate may end up contaminated with dangerous bacteria. Although the top part of the plate is clean, the bottom, where you may stick your hands is now contaminated. When you go to pick up the plate, you can easily contaminate your hands with these raw meat juices and potentially harmful bacteria.
It is not about being a perfectionist in the kitchen, but it is about doing the best you possibly can to keep you and your family safe. I’m not trying to make your next Fourth of July cookout less enjoyable, instead, I hope to bring you greater awareness and some tips that could help protect you and your family during holiday get togethers and beyond.
Eating at Restaurants
The kitchens in restaurants are typically crazy intensely busy. The pressure is unbelievably high, there are a number of moving parts, and while there are a few kitchens that work like a well-oiled machine, many kitchens grow disorderly under the high pressure and quick pace.
Many chefs are often adorned with bandaids. Chefs and cooks cut their fingers daily in busy, stressful restaurant kitchens. Sometimes the cuts are just small nicks and other times deeper wounds. Although chefs throw on a pair of gloves if they cut themselves, after a day or two they tend to remove the gloves and continue on working glove-free. Oftentimes these older cuts, which get banged around as the chefs work and handle countless pots, pans, and kitchen utensils, can continue to seep and bleed on and off. As I’ve mentioned in other articles and radio shows, this is an easy way to catch Epstein-Barr or another virus.
Frequently in kitchens, the raw poultry, meats, and fish are washed in the same sinks as the lettuces and other vegetables. Unfortunately, this regularly leads to cross-contamination. Countertops and surfaces in kitchens are often not cleaned thoroughly, which can lead to frequent cross-contamination as well.
Tips When Eating Out
Here are a few things you can do when eating out to help you avoid getting food poisoning:
* If you are vegan, vegetarian, or plant-based, the safest strategy is to try to avoid restaurants that serve animal protein or animal products when possible. This can be a highly protective practice. However, sometimes you may end up at a place that serves these foods when you are dining out with family and friends. In these instances, I would suggest you avoid eating any raw foods. In certain instances, a chef preparing a raw salad may have just handled a raw piece of poultry, fish or meat and not thoroughly sanitized his or her hands in between. Another cross-contamination issue may occur if raw juices from a piece of poultry or meat are accidentally splashed into a vegetarian dish cooking near it. In a high pressure kitchen, these type of cross-contamination issues, although accidental, happen frequently. When eating at these restaurants, it’s safest to enjoy a cooked meal that is served to you piping hot, versus having a raw salad or other raw meal. You can read more on this below.
* If you are set on ordering a raw meal, and want to protect yourself as much as possible, add fresh lemon juice all over your meal and ask for raw onion and garlic to be added also. You can also ask your waiter if the kitchen has whole, uncut avocados. You can order one or more uncut avocados, slice them open at your table, and scoop them onto your plate for a safer raw meal option that is satiating.
* For anyone with any type of diet, avoiding eating raw dishes when dining out can be beneficial. Instead of going for a salad or raw veggie dish, stick with a cooked meal and ask for the plate to come out piping hot. Why do you want a piping hot dish? Frequently in restaurants, cooked meat is accidentally placed onto plates that have already been contaminated with juices from raw meat. When you ask for your plate to be heated up, you maybe preventing this contamination from impacting you and your health. If a chef suffering from Epstein-Barr or another virus has dripped sweat into your food or accidentally cut him or herself and bled into your food by accident, reheating the entire plate can help protect you from picking up a harmful virus or bacteria. If your plate of food arrives to the table lukewarm, politely ask if it can be sent back and thoroughly reheated.
* Always be polite when asking for meal changes or extra additions to your dish. Over the years, I’ve helped many clients who have worked in the restaurant business. I’ve heard some terrible stories about what can happen to dishes when customers are impolite or upset a waiter or chef.
* In many restaurants, chefs use squeeze-bottles to dispense sauces. Unfortunately in many restaurants, even high-quality places, cross-contamination between raw meat and these squeeze-bottles can occur. Bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli, take cover in these bottles because these bottles are frequently around raw chicken and meat and/or handled by contaminated hands. Frequently lukewarm, bacteria-laden sauce is drizzled onto a dish right before it exits the kitchen. Because of this, it is important to ask your waiter that no sauce be put onto your dish after your dish has been heated up and is ready to be served.
* Never order your meat rare. Perhaps you’ve been ordering meat rare for the last twenty or thirty years and have never suffered from food poisoning. Even so, that doesn’t mean the next time you order a rare piece of meat you won’t contract a horrible case of food poisoning. Whether you are ordering a high-quality piece of steak or just a basic burger, it is critical that you order your meat either medium or well-done.
You can now enter restaurants with a greater sense of awareness. I do not want to ruin your next fun night out with friends, but I want you to be able to arm yourself for these occasions, so that you can protect your health as best as possible.
Foods to Arm Yourself
Many different foods have amazing healing qualities. These foods in particular possess certain attributes that may help you avoid food poisoning after a meal:
Oregano Capsules: Try taking an oregano capsule before heading out to eat. Just one capsule has the ability to help prevent a food poisoning episode. If you take a capsule before a meal out with friends or family, the capsule will be ready to disperse around the food in your stomach once you begin to eat and digest. You can think of oregano as a powerful safety barrier against Salmonella and E. coli, which might have run amok otherwise.
Garlic: Asking for garlic to be added to both cooked and raw dishes when you’re out at a restaurant can be a wonderful protective measure. Raw garlic is a powerful weapon and has the ability to spread throughout the stomach and kill off bacteria.
Thyme: If you are at a restaurant, you may want to ask if the kitchen has some fresh thyme the chef can sprinkle on your dish. This might be a tricky one to accommodate, but it is worth it to ask!
Peppermint: Peppermint tea can be a beneficial drink to incorporate when dining out. Although peppermint tea isn’t incredibly anti-viral, it has powerful anti-bacterial qualities. Many restaurants have peppermint tea, but you can also bring your own tea bags from home. Sip on this drink before your food comes and throughout your meal.
Ginger: Ginger can kill bacteria in the stomach. Drinking some ginger tea before your meal and after you eat is a great protective measure. This is another herbal tea that restaurants frequently carry.
Lemon: Squeezing a lemon onto your dish can offer wonderful protection. If you choose to order a raw dish, squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice onto the meal, even in a vegan or plant-based restaurant. Trucks containing plant foods and animal products often make deliveries to plant-based restaurants so cross-contamination can occur. Therefore, it is safest to stick to cooked meals at vegan and vegetarian restaurants. That being said, if you do choose to eat a raw dish in these restaurants, or in a restaurant with animal products, lemon juice can act as an incredible antiseptic and will work wonders inside your body. You can ask them to cut lemon for you in the back, which would actually help kill off the bacteria on the knife they are using, or you can ask them to bring out a whole lemon for you to cut yourself. You may even want to drink some lemon water alongside your meal. Bottom line, incorporating lemon into your meal when you are dining out can be a valuable measure.
High-quality salt: Try adding a pinch of high-quality sea salt to your meal. This salt may actually help kill off bacteria. Ask if the restaurant has sea salt or another high-quality variety and consider adding a dash if so.
Sometimes you have to be flexible when it comes to choosing which restaurant to eat at. Fortunately, the list of foods above can be powerful weapons at any place you choose. In the past you may have unknowingly protected yourself from a serious case of food poisoning by squeezing lemon onto your raw salad for taste or ordering a cup of peppermint tea. Moving forward, you now are aware of practices that can actually make a beneficial difference. Do not feel uncomfortable about sticking an extra lemon in your purse or sliding a tea bag into your pocket before you head to a restaurant. Arming yourself with these secret weapons can be the crucial components that keep you from getting sick.
Avoiding Raw Meat & Fish
Certain doctors say that animal protein and animal products can kill you because they can clog your arteries, raise your cholesterol, and increase your risk of a heart attack. But there’s more to it than this. In their raw form, animal proteins such as chicken, turkey, steak, or fish in its raw form can be dangerous. It is critical you understand that If you eat these types of food raw, you could lose your life. If you want to look out for your health the best you can, eliminate steak tartare, raw fish, or any type of uncooked animal protein from your diet. If you enjoy fish or steak, cook it! This may not be the information that you want to hear, but this is the information that will help keep you safe.
I assisted a friend on a fishing boat for a period of time when I was younger. One day while on the boat, I saw a worm pop out of one of the wild fish that had been caught. I grabbed the worm, which was alive and squirming, and began to pull it out of the fish. It stretched out to six feet in length! At one point this worm had merely been a tiny egg inside the fish, but by the time I found it, it had grown to an incredible length. Six feet long worms may not crawl out of the sushi or raw fish you choose to consume, but worm eggs that could grow to this length may just be hiding out in your next raw tuna roll or salmon sashimi. If you are wanting to protect yourself from worms and dangerous bacteria, it is best to avoid consuming raw fish.
Grass-Fed & Free-Range Versus Factory-Farmed
If you choose to include meats and other animal products in your diet, choosing high-quality options can better support your health and safety.
Grass-fed beef and free-range chickens are likely to contain less harmful bacteria than chicken, turkey and other meats that come from factory farms. While purchasing your grass-fed meats from small farms can be a wonderful step towards greater safety, most small farms still have to ship their meat to a factory for processing. Some factories may handle mostly grass-fed and free-range products, but other factories handle both grass-fed and grain-fed proteins and products. In certain instances, cross-contamination between grain-fed, battery-caged products and grass-fed or free-range products may occur in the factory setting. However, if you are going to eat animal protein and products, stick to grass-fed and free-range sources because they still have less potential for containing certain dangerous strains of Salmonella, E. Coli, and other harmful bugs and bacteria.
Salmonella and other harmful bacteria can be found on the outside of most conventional eggs. By contrast, free-range eggs rarely have Salmonella and other dangerous bacteria on their shells. Be that as it may, if you suffer from viral issues, neurological problems, or have been diagnosed with any kind of autoimmune disease, it would still be best to eliminate eggs from your diet.
I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade. I am here to make sure you know the facts and are protected. I want you to be aware of potential risks, so that you can make the most informed decisions possible!
My Food Poisoning Story
When I was a young child, I went out to eat at a restaurant with my family and chose a menu item that Spirit advised against ordering. I ended up getting horrible food poisoning and nearly died. I was agonizingly sick for weeks and eventually recovered after Spirit instructed I eat only heirloom pears from my great grandfather’s pear tree for a period of time. Fortunately, this protocol helped me to recover, and I became a lucky survivor of food poisoning. Many people aren’t so fortunate. I’ve witnessed hundreds of cases of food poisoning throughout the years and have heard numerous food poisoning-related stories. Sadly, not everyone who contracts food poisoning survives.
Recovering from Food Poisoning
If you take measures to protect yourself, but still end up getting food poisoning, know that there are a few things you can do to support your body as you heal.
* Hydrating yourself throughout your illness is essential. Try mixing coconut water (fresh or pasteurized) with regular, high-quality water and frequently sipping on this drink. If you are looking to quickly hydrate yourself, this maybe the secret weapon you need. Between bouts of vomiting and diarrhea, sipping on this drink can make a big difference. If you are no longer experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, and are only experiencing gut pain, continuing to incorporate this liquid can still be very beneficial.
* Lemon water and ginger water are two other drinks to consider bringing into your healing protocol. Keeping yourself hydrated by frequently sipping on these drinks can make a valuable difference in your recovery.
* If you have a terrible case of food poisoning, going to the hospital to be monitored and given an I.V. is important.
If you’ve suffered from food poisoning in the past, you may want to work to knock down old bacteria that could still be in your system. Try applying what you’ve learned in this show, incorporate the foods that act as weapons against bacteria, and listen to past radio shows for more tips and suggestions of beneficial, life-giving foods to bring into your diet. Hold onto the fact that it is possible to clean up your system and recover from damage that may have occurred during a past food poisoning episode.
Do you need to stop eating your favorite raw salad at the local vegan restaurant? No. Do you need to stop eating animal products if you feel healthy and happy? No. This information is not meant to alarm you, deter you from eating out, or in anyway cause you to stop living your life to the fullest. Instead, this knowledge is meant to empower you so that you can enter each new situation with the tools and wisdom you need to thrive.
Instead of living in fear, just put on your armor of protection by asking the right questions at restaurants, ordering and asking for what you need, bringing along items that can support you, and staying vigilant in your own kitchen when you’re cooking. I hope you can enjoy your next Fourth of July or Thanksgiving with even greater zeal, knowing that you have an awareness that can help protect you and others on holidays and every day!
This item posted: 05-Apr-2017
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