prevent food borne illness

2 Simple Ways to Prevent Food Borne Illness

Food safety is something I’ve thought a lot about. While healthy people may not experience much more than a some tummy trouble, the risk of serious illness or death is much higher for people with compromised immune systems (HIV, cancer, children & elderly). So if you cook for, or work with, an at-risk person, please pay special attention to food safety!

Here’s a guide from the FDA on home food safety: 4 Basic Steps to Food Safety at Home

The following information has been taken from Understanding Food Principals and Preparation (Brown, 2015). HACCP is a food safety program, implemented in 1997, to prevent food-borne illness (FBI) in meat and poultry plants in the US.

HACCP Seven Steps [for food safety & to prevent food borne illness]

  • Assessing (identifying) potential biological, chemical, or physical hazards
  • Identifying Critical Control Points (CCP)
    1. High-risk foods for disseminating FBI: meat (beef, pork, lamb), poultry, fish & shellfish, dairy, eggs, broth & stock, gravies & sauces, tofu & soy, and stuffings in poultry cavity
  • Establishing quantifiable limits for each CCP (range of acceptable temperatures)
  • Monitoring CCPs to make sure that they stay within the recommended limits
  • Taking corrective action if they do not
  • Verifying through regularly evaluating records
  • Documenting through sound record taking (Brown, 2015)

How to prevent food borne illness in guacamole

Guacamole is a simple, basic recipe that perfectly demonstrates two common hazards that may result in FBI.

  • Prevent biological hazards, such as bacteria, molds, viruses, parasites, or prions by washing your hands & under your fingernails for 20-seconds, tying your hair back or covering it, and wearing clean clothes or an apron.
  • Prevent chemical hazards, such as unintentional food additives, plant or animal toxins, or heavy metals by thoroughly washing tomatoes and avocados (toss the pits) before putting on a sanitized cutting board.


  1. Ingredients

·       2 ripe avocados, mashed

·       1 ripe tomato, peeled & finely chopped

·       2 T. fresh lime or lemon juice

·       ½ t. salt

·       Tabasco sauce to taste

·       2 T. chopped onion

·       4 T. canned green chilis, finely chopped

·       Tortilla chips


·       8 ripe avocados, mashed

·       4 ripe tomatoes, peeled & finely chopped

·       ½ C. fresh lime or lemon juice

·       2 t. salt

·       Tabasco sauce to taste

·       ½ C. chopped onion

·       1 C. canned green chilis, finely chopped

·       Tortilla chips


  1. Materials/Equipment
    • One large bowl
    • One large fork for mashing
    • One large spoon for mixing
    • One cutting board
    • One sharp chopping knife
    • Measuring spoons and cups
  2. Procedure
    • Cut avocado, remove and throw away the pit, put in bowl and mash pulp well
    • Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. Mix well. If a smooth texture is desired, use a blender to mix ingredients
    • Serve with tortilla chips


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