Have you ever felt a little queasy after eating?

Many people believe that restaurants and other "outside the home" meal places cause people to be sick after eating. But think again: There can be a lot of bacteria growing in your own kitchen. Why take the chance? Here are a few simple things we can do to prevent a 24-hour illness:

Wash your hands! Sick of hearing it? Then just do it!Before preparing foods, especially uncooked foods, such as when making a salad or slicing fruit.

Wipe up a spill soon after it happens - in the fridge and on the counter.Bacteria multiply quickly, so make the germs disappear.

Do a smell test... on the sponge - eewww! If your family tends to leave a sponge by the sink for months and months, either replace it every few weeks or put it in the microwave every night after dinner to kill the germs. If there is dish soap in the sponge, it bubbles up into a cool science project... but just microwave it for one minute.

Thaw meat on the bottom of the fridge with nothing under it except a plate that will be washed while you are cooking the meat.In one of the refrigerators I inspected, there was a fresh fruit under the thawing hamburger.How about eating a banana with burger juice on it?Yuck!I was really thinking: Why was a fresh banana in the fridge anyway?!

Keep that fridge at 35/40 degrees Fahrenheit.Tell your family to get a thermometer if you don't have one.Food will last longer when stored at a proper temperature, which means your family saves money.

Label those leftovers!Most last 3-5 days if chilled properly. Ever look at something in the fridge and think, "How long has THIS been in here?" If the date is on the container the day it is stored, then everyone knows how long they have to enjoy it.

See how easy these tips are? No one likes to be sick, but sometimes we make ourselves sick with our "kitchen habits." Practice these tips and you will avoid sickness so you can hang out with friends instead.

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