Regarding food hygiene, what should be observed when eating "hot pot" meals?
(02.21.2008)

In winter time, either at home or in restaurants, the steaming hot pot is a food and drink consumption favored by many people. There is a great variety of ingredients for hot pot meals, among which seafood, poultry, beef and mutton are the most popular ones. However, if the hot pot ingredients are abruptly eaten without proper cleaning or thorough cooking, various pathogenic bacteria may enter the human body, leading to food poisoning. Therefore, whether eating a hot pot at home or in a restaurant, people should pay attention to food hygiene to safeguard their health. Things to notice include:

(1) Food must be thoroughly heated/cooked - never eat raw and fresh pieces;

(2) raw food material should be thoroughly cleaned and completely thawed out;

(3) processed raw food ingredients should be eaten in a timely manner;

(4) handle cooked and uncooked food separately by using two different sets of chopsticks or tools to process the cooked and uncooked food individually;

(5) avoid placing too many dishes on the table, in order to prevent cross contamination;

(6) each time after adding more water or soup/stock to the pot, only continue to cook the ingredients after the liquid begins to boil again, and

(7) pay attention to maintaining a balanced diet and do not eat too much animal viscera containing high levels of cholesterol.