How does food become contaminated?

Food can become contaminated by: not cooking it thoroughly (particularly meat), not correctly storing food that needs to be chilled at below 5°C, not sufficiently reheating previously cooked food, and eating food that has passed its “use by” date.

Other ways include:

  • leaving cooked food for too long at warm temperatures
  • someone who is ill or who has dirty hands touching the food
  • the spread of bacteria between contaminated foods (cross-contamination)

Source: Food poisoning @ NHS Choices

image: Pork Shoulders by John Verive under Creative Commons license