The Jakarta Post
Nutritionist recommends that you prepare and cook your own meals at home. (Shutterstock/File)
Nutritionist Monica Joice Viona Prasvita suggests that pre-cooked or ready-to-eat foods, meaning meals that are not prepared and cooked at home, are at high risk of bacterial contamination that may threaten the health of the body.
Monica said she divides these pre-cooked meals into two categories: those that have been prepared and are available on display and those that are cooked right before they are served to you.
“If the food has been on display for some time, it is susceptible to contamination, as any food left outside of the refrigerator for more than two hours sits in [...] the right temperature for bacteria to grow,” she explained to Antara news agency.
“The longer the food is out and on display, the more susceptible it is to contamination,” she continued.
Meanwhile, food that is cooked right before it is served to consumers, such as when eating out at restaurants or purchasing take-out to bring home, may have lower chances of contamination because it had been prepared at high temperature before it is served. However, this type of meal has its own dangers.
“The danger is in its packaging, particularly when the food is not packaged in styrofoam, but in plastic,” she said.
“When heat enters the plastic, the plastic may contaminate your food, so you will need to consider how long it will take you to bring the take-out food home and immediately remove the food from the packaging and store it somewhere else because plastic is not actually an appropriate medium to carry food.”
Furthermore, the way in which the food is prepared and cooked may also pose a threat to your well-being. As such, Monica recommends that you prepare and cook your own meals at home.
“When cooking food, generally the excessive use of oil becomes a source of high intake of calories. The volume is the same, the calories are high, but if you cook by yourself, you will be able to control the amount of oil on your own,” she suggests. (tha/kes)