The microbes that cause diarrhoea and other diseases can be spread through food as well as water. Most people already have good ways of handling food. Fresh, well-cooked and covered food is free from microbes and safe to eat.

However, food can collect microbes in several ways. A person with unwashed hands who touches food will make it dirty. Flies often feed on faeces. They carry faeces and microbes on their feet to wherever they next land. Just one fly crawling over a plate of food can be enough to spread diarrhoea to the people who eat the food. Wash fruit and vegetables well before using. Cover food once it is cooked and make sure it is eaten soon after. In hot weather it can spoil quickly.

Microbes can also be spread when people handle raw meat and then don’t wash their hands before touching cooked food. Raw meat contains microbes that are killed during cooking.

Take care to keep all pests away from food, including flies, mice, rats and cockroaches, and other household animals such as chickens, dogs and cats. All of these can spread microbes onto food.

Discussion
  • What traditions do we have that help to keep food safe from microbes?
  • What can we use to store food safely; both cooked and uncooked food?
  • In what situations is cooked food kept for a long time after cooking? Can this lead to the food spoiling?
  • How can someone working with raw meat make sure they never touch cooked food before washing their hands?
  • What are the main pests that we have to keep away from food in our area?
  • What can we use to cover food?
  • How can we reduce the number of flies and other pests that could make our food dirty?