Food - but safe

Food should taste good and fill your stomach but sometimes it also entails health risks, for instance when Salmonella or Campylobacter are present on the surface. These bacteria can cause unpleasant gastrointestinal diseases in humans - sometimes with serious consequences. Staff from the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) demonstrate to visitors at the International Green Week how easy it is to avoid these diseases. At Stand 101 in the theme farm Hall 3.2 of Messe Berlin visitors are given tips about shopping for, the storage and the preparation of sensitive foods. "As the cause of many food infections lies in the private household, we assume that not everyone is familiar with simple kitchen hygiene rules", says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. However, the trade fair visitors are not only given practical tips about the correct handling of food but also background information about pathogens. Which germs on food make you sick? What do they look like under the microscope? At what temperatures do they multiply?

On a laboratory table at the BfR stand visitors can take a look at diagrams of microscopically enlarged cultures of pathogens that are found on food. Using the example of the bacterium Escherichia coli a model is used to demonstrate at which temperatures the germ count rises. This demonstrates just how important it is to transport and store food at low temperatures.

But it’s not enough to simply “put the food in the fridge” as there is not a uniform temperature in the fridge for all foods. Using a “false fridge” BfR staff members explain which foods should be stored where and how in the fridge.

Large and small visitors can test their new knowledge in a quiz at the wheel of fortune and take home little prizes.

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) can be found at the International Green Week from 15 to 24 January 2010 at Stand 101 in Hall 3.2 (theme farm) of Messe Berlin. We look forward to your visit.

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