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Home » Unexpected ingredients in ‘Kimbap’ that can cause food poisoning!

Unexpected ingredients in ‘Kimbap’ that can cause food poisoning!

  • Food


When going out, kimbap is often recommended as a convenient snack to prepare. Especially in cooler weather like autumn, during outdoor activities, kimbap is a popular choice due to its ease of transport and delicious taste. However, the various ingredients in kimbap can create conditions favorable for the growth of foodborne pathogens, posing a risk of food poisoning.

Autumn is indeed one of the seasons with a high incidence of food poisoning. The significant daily temperature variations typical of autumn weather provide ideal conditions for the growth of foodborne pathogens. As the weather cools, the environment for storing food often becomes less stringent than in summer, leading to conditions conducive to the proliferation of foodborne pathogens if food is not properly stored. Furthermore, the signs of food spoilage, such as odor or taste changes, may not be apparent, increasing the likelihood of consumers ingesting contaminated food and contracting food poisoning.

1. Hygienic Management of Ingredients for Gimbap

Kimbap is made with a variety of ingredients, including rice, seaweed, various vegetables, pickled radish, eggs, and proteins like ham or fish cakes. If any of these ingredients are improperly handled or stored, bacteria that can cause food poisoning can develop. For example, protein foods like ham or fish cakes in kimbap can rapidly proliferate bacteria at room temperature, and vegetables can also cause food poisoning if not thoroughly washed.

One of the key ingredients in kimbap preparation that requires careful handling is the egg omelet. The egg omelet is a crucial component for the flavor of kimbap, but if mishandled, it can lead to food poisoning. Data from 2017 to 2021 shows that most of the 6,838 patients with salmonella-induced food poisoning had consumed foods containing eggs. This infection is primarily due to salmonella present in eggs, originating from chickens. Chickens and other poultry have long ceca, which provide an environment conducive to the growth of salmonella due to the lower number of other bacteria. If chicken feces containing salmonella contaminate eggs that are not properly washed and distributed, there is a risk of spreading the bacteria to other eggs.

To prevent egg-related food poisoning, several important steps must be followed. When making egg omelets, it’s crucial to wash hands thoroughly with soap or another cleaning agent after touching eggshells to prevent cross-contamination. This measure is to prevent the transfer of microorganisms from eggshells to other ingredients or cooking utensils.

Additionally, it’s advisable to wash all ingredients cleanly and store vegetables, pickled radish, and imitation crab meat separately from raw ingredients. This reduces the risk of cross-contamination between ingredients. When cooking, use separate cutting boards and knives for eggs and other ingredients to prevent potential cross-contamination.

Keeping kimbap mats and sanitary gloves clean is also essential. Cooking tools should be carefully managed to avoid contact with eggshells or other sources of contamination, and replaced immediately if suspected of contamination. Such management is crucial in preventing food poisoning and maintaining overall food safety.

Meat products, including ham used in kimbap, should also be handled with care. Meat should be thoroughly cooked until the internal temperature reaches at least 75 degrees Celsius (167 degrees Fahrenheit) and maintained for at least one minute to eliminate all harmful pathogens. This process is essential not only for eradicating foodborne pathogens but also for ensuring a safe meal.

Hygiene management in the preparation of ingredients is of utmost importance. When preparing vegetables, meat, and seafood, it is recommended to wash each separately, especially vegetables, which should be thoroughly rinsed under running water at least three times. Meat and seafood should also be carefully washed and properly cooked. After cooking, the sink should be cleaned of any remaining food particles, washed with detergent, and finished with a disinfectant to reduce the possibility of cross-contamination.

2. Guidelines for Safe Storage of Gimbap

All foods, including kimbap, should be stored properly. Use an icebox or similar container to maintain a refrigerated state during transport and avoid exposure to sunlight or high temperatures. This is essential for inhibiting the growth of foodborne pathogens and reducing the risk of food poisoning.

The likelihood of foodborne illness depends on the number of bacteria present. For instance, salmonella can cause symptoms of food poisoning, such as diarrhea and abdominal pain, when present in certain quantities. If symptoms of food poisoning occur, it is crucial to seek professional medical care rather than attempting self-treatment or taking anti-diarrheal medication. Self-medication can worsen symptoms, and especially in the elderly or children with weaker immune systems, food poisoning can lead to complications or sepsis, necessitating prompt medical intervention.