156 Staying Healthy
➤ Washing your
hands prevents the
spread of disease.
Keep a special clean
rag for drying your
hands. Wash it often
and dry it in the sun.
Or dry your hands
in the air by shaking
the water off.
➤ Some communities
have traditional ways
to prepare raw meat
or fish that make
them safe to eat.
Many common diseases of the intestines are spread
through food. Sometimes people who harvest, handle, or
prepare food pass germs from their hands into the food.
Sometimes germs and molds in the air begin to grow in the
food and it goes bad (spoils). This happens when food is not
stored or cooked properly, or when it gets old.
To prevent the spread of germs in food:
• wash your hands with soap and water before preparing
food, before eating, and before feeding your children.
• wash or peel all fruits and vegetables that are eaten raw.
• do not let raw meat, poultry, or fish touch other food
that is eaten raw. Always wash your hands, knife, and
cutting board after cutting these meats.
• avoid coughing, spitting, and chewing things like gum or
betel near food so your saliva does not get in the food.
• do not allow animals to lick dishes or utensils clean. If
possible, keep animals out of the kitchen.
• throw food out when it spoils.
Here are some of the most common signs of spoiled foods:
• bad smell
• bad taste or a change in taste
• changed color (for example, if raw meat changes from
red to brown)
• many bubbles on the top (for example, on the top of old
stew or soup) along with a bad smell
• slime on the surface of meat or cooked foods
Cooking food kills germs. All meats,
fish, and poultry should be well
cooked. Nothing should look raw
or have a raw color.
If the food begins to cool,
the germs quickly start to
grow again. If the food is
not eaten within 2 hours,
reheat it until it is very
hot. Liquids should be
bubbling, and solids
(like rice) should be
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012