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Health Tip: Slow-Cooking Food Safely

Posted 2 days 8 hours ago by Drugs.com

-- The slow cooker is a convenient way to whip up a healthy dinner for your family. But food safety rules still apply, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises. Here are the group's suggestions: Thoroughly clean the slow cooker, work area and your hands before preparing food. Keep all perishables in the refrigerator until right before it is time to add them. Prepare meat and vegetables separately, refrigerating them in separate containers. Defrost meat – always in the refrigerator – before putting it in the slow cooker. Cook foods all day on the "low" setting, or for the first hour on "high," then dropping to "low." Use a food thermometer to make sure it's cooked thoroughly. The cooker should be no more than 1/2 to 2/3 full. Cut up large chunks of meat to help ensure a better fit and more thorough cooking. Do not remove the lid while cooking. And when it's time to store ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea Prophylaxis

Warmer Waters May Mean More Toxic Shellfish

Posted 9 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 9, 2017 – Unusually warm ocean temperatures near the U.S. Pacific Northwest have been linked to dangerous levels of a natural toxin in shellfish. But, researchers report they have developed new ways to predict these toxic outbreaks. The toxin, domoic acid, is produced by marine algae, or plant life. It builds up in seafood, posing a potential threat. Consuming the toxin can be harmful to humans, the researchers said. The project was funded by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). "We describe a completely new method to understanding and predicting toxic outbreaks on a large scale, linking domoic acid concentrations in shellfish to ocean conditions caused by warm water phases of natural climate event cycles," said study author Morgaine McKibben of Oregon State University. Those "climate event cycles" include El Nino and a similar but long-term ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Poisoning, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Salmonella Enteric Fever, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Enjoying Rare Meat Safely

Posted 6 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

-- If you prefer rare meat to well done, you might be wondering if the rare variety is safe. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics explains: A food thermometer should be used to make sure rare meat is hot enough to destroy any germs. Avoid using other cues, such as the color of meat, the color of juices or the firmness of meat, to determine if it's sufficiently cooked. Ground lamb, pork, veal or beef should be cooked to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit at its center. Whole steak needs to be cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit at its center. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Don't Let Food Poisoning Ruin Your Holiday Celebration

Posted 23 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 23, 2016 – Party guests always seem to wind up in the host's kitchen, but too many cooks boost the risk of mistakes that could lead to food poisoning, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The group says it's also important to keep food safety in mind when preparing homemade food gifts and holiday buffets. It offers these tips: Wash hands before, during and after preparing food. It's also important to wash when switching from one task to another. All kitchen surfaces – including appliances, countertops, cutting boards and utensils – should be kept clean throughout the cooking process. Use hot, soapy water. Never cut raw meat, poultry or fish on the same cutting board as foods like fruits and vegetables that don't have to be cooked. Using color-coded cutting boards can make it easier to remember which one to use for each food. Use different utensils for ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea Prophylaxis

How to Ship Food Gifts Without Risk

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21, 2016 – Homemade food gifts can make loved ones afar feel closer, but it's important to take extra safety precautions to prevent food poisoning, according to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AAND). Bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses grow quickly at temperatures between 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, potentially doubling every 20 minutes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When shipping perishable items, make sure they are kept below 40 degrees, AAND advises. Let the recipient know a perishable package is on the way and be sure someone will be home to receive it. Even foods that are smoked, cured or fully cooked should be kept cold. This can be done using dry ice and foam or heavy corrugated cardboard packaging, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends. Whenever ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Enteric Fever, Traveler's Diarrhea, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Prep Your Refrigerator for the Holidays

Posted 8 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Your fridge may be overflowing with leftovers from holiday meals. Here are some tips to safely preserve all that food, courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Set the fridge temperature between 33 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and your freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Make sure you store any meat, eggs, veggies and milk within two hours. Place raw meat on the bottom shelf, away from produce or ready-to-eat food. If any food is left out at room temperature for longer than two hours, throw it away. Place foods being thawed or marinated in the refrigerator. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Cooking a Holiday Ham

Posted 6 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

-- If you're cooking a holiday ham, make sure it's properly prepared to prevent foodborne illness. The U.S. Department of Agriculture advises: Set the oven temperature to at least 325 degrees Fahrenheit to reheat a fully cooked, packaged ham. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a food thermometer to detect the temperature. Heat a smoked packaged ham to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook a fresh ham to an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Let sit for three minutes before serving. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

How to Prepare That Holiday Turkey Safely

Posted 22 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 – The traditional turkey centerpiece on Thanksgiving tables may come out looking scrumptious, but cooks in the kitchen need to be concerned about preparing the bird safely to prevent the spread of foodborne illness. That's the advice from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which offers the following safety precautions based on how your turkey will be prepared: Fresh Turkey A fresh turkey should be refrigerated until it's time to cook it. Be sure to place it in a pan that will catch any leaking juices and prevent the spread of potentially harmful bacteria, the agency advises. The USDA also recommends buying a fresh turkey no more than a day or two ahead of time. Never buy a pre-stuffed fresh turkey, the agency adds. The stuffing in these turkeys may not have been handled properly and may contain harmful germs. Frozen Turkey Turkeys can be safely ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Food Safety Not Always on Menu of TV Cooking Shows

Posted 11 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 11, 2016 – Safe food-handling procedures are often lacking on TV cooking shows, a new study finds. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, said if TV cooks fail to demonstrate safe practices, it may lead to unhealthy food preparation in viewers' home kitchens. For the study, the researchers looked at the use of utensils and gloves, protection from contamination, and time and temperature control in 39 episodes of 10 popular cooking shows. They also noted whether the shows mentioned food safety. The findings were published in the November-December issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. "The majority of practices rated were out of compliance or conformance with recommendations in at least 70 percent of episodes, and food safety practices were mentioned in only three episodes," said study lead author Nancy Cohen, a professor of nutrition at ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Keep Kids Healthy Around Classroom Pets

Posted 11 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Classroom pets provide great learning opportunities for children, but they also bring germs to the classroom. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends: After children touch the animals, a cage or their food, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. Wash hands after touching shoes or clothing that have been near the animals. Always wash hands before eating or drinking. Young children should be supervised while they wash their hands. If a sink isn't available, use hand sanitizer. Wash hands as soon as there's access to soap and water. Never clean animal cages, tanks or supplies in a sink near where food is prepared or eaten. Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Separate Foods

Posted 3 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Raw meat can spread germs to other foods, so it's best to store and cook different foods separately. The foodsafety.gov website suggests: Designate separate cutting boards; one just for produce, and another for meat, poultry, seafood and eggs. Use separate plates as well, and always wash the plates after use. At the grocery, put poultry, eggs, seafood and meat in separate plastic bags away from the rest of the food. Keep poultry, meat, seafood and eggs in these separate bags inside the refrigerator or freezer. Store eggs in the carton in the main part of the refrigerator, rather than in the door. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Make Sure Eggs Are Thoroughly Cooked

Posted 2 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Enjoying an egg for a meal or snack? Make sure it's properly cooked to avoid food-borne illness. The FoodSafety.gov website recommends: Cooking scrambled eggs until they are no longer runny and are firm to the touch. Baking, broiling, frying or poaching eggs until both the yolk and white feel firm. Baking casseroles and other egg dishes until the center reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit, measured with a food thermometer. Replacing raw egg whites with liquid egg substitute or a cooked mixture of egg and milk. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Learn About Salmonella

Posted 10 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Salmonella bacteria is a common source of foodborne illness, but there are things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises: Never eat raw or undercooked eggs, which can harbor salmonella and other germs. Food is more often left unrefrigerated for long periods during summer, making food poisoning more common when the weather is warmer. Salmonella infection is downright dangerous for many people, including those with chronic diseases or weakened immune systems. Salmonella can affect many different foods, such as meat, sprouts, processed foods, eggs, fruits and vegetables. A salmonella infection can last for several days and cause diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever. Salmonella infections are relatively common, but most people don't seek a doctor's treatment, so an infection often goes unreported. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Climate Change May Bring More Tainted Shellfish to Northern Seas

Posted 8 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 8, 2016 – Warming oceans may be boosting levels of dangerous bacteria in northern seas, possibly explaining why more people are getting sickened by tainted seafood and seawater, new research suggests. "From long-term data, it is apparent that the level of these pathogens is rising in the ocean as a result of global warming," said study author Luigi Vezzulli. He is an associate professor with the department of earth, environmental and life sciences at the University of Genoa, in Italy. At the moment, the threat to humans is still considered to be low. But Vezzulli said the germs in question, known as vibrios, pose a threat and must be monitored "in the light of ongoing climate change, especially in coastal areas most heavily affected by ocean warming." Vibrios are a kind of bacteria that live in many kinds of water, explained Craig Baker-Austin, a senior research scientist ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea

Health Tip: The Basics of Food Safety

Posted 20 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Make sure you've got your facts straight when it comes to food safety. The U.S. Food Safety Administration explains: Foodborne illnesses can be serious, resulting in chronic health problems or, rarely, death. Never thaw meat on a kitchen counter, as bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature. It's also important to marinate meat in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. While bleach is good for cleaning the kitchen, there's no benefit to using excessive amounts. Wash all fruit and vegetables with water (never detergent or soap), even if you're going to peel them. Never rinse raw meat, poultry or fish, which could spread contaminated juices. Follow microwaving instructions carefully, including allowing food to stand a few minutes after heating. This gives the food time to finish cooking. Don't rely on smell as a way to tell if food has gone bad. Some harmful bacteria ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis

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