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Heath Tip: 10 Mistakes People Make in Food Preparation

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

-- Homemade food should be nutritious and safe. But experts at the foodsafety.org website cite 10 common food-preparation mistakes: Tasting older food to see if it's still good. It's better to be safe and just throw it out. Putting cooked meat back on a plate that held raw meat. At the very least, the plate should be washed with hot water and soap. Better yet, use a different plate. Thawing food on the counter. Washing meat or poultry. This actually may contaminate your sink and counters. Letting food cool before putting it in the fridge. Eating raw dough, cookie dough, cake batter or other foods with uncooked eggs or uncooked flour Marinating meat or seafood on the counter. Using raw meat marinade on cooked food. Undercooking meat, poultry, seafood or eggs. Not washing your hands. When in doubt, wash your hands often and with lots of soapy hot water. Read more

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

Health Tip: Leading Causes of Food Poisoning

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

-- More than a million Americans each year suffer the symptoms of food poisoning, including nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever and dehydration. Here are leading causes of food poisoning, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Bacteria and viruses, such as Salmonella, norovirus, campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, clostridium and perfringens. Parasites, such as protozoa or roundworms. Mold, toxins and contaminants, both natural and chemical. Read more

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

Health Tip: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

-- More than 400,000 Americans get sick every year from antibiotic-resistant foodborne bacteria, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. These infections, which resist the effects of antibiotics, are harder to treat and often lead to more severe illness. The CDC suggests how to protect yourself and your family from bacteria: Take antibiotics only when needed. Use a food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature: 145 degrees F for whole beef, pork, lamb, and veal; 160 degrees F for ground meats; and 165 degrees F for all poultry. Wash your hands after touching raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Also wash your work surfaces, cutting boards, utensils, and grill before and after cooking. Keep your refrigerator below 40 degrees F, and refrigerate foods within one hour of cooking. Germs from raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can spread to ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Food Safety for College Students

Posted 1 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

-- As college kids head back to campus, it's important to keep them aware of food safety. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services offers these suggestions to thwart food-borne illness: Wash hands and surfaces often. Travel with hand sanitizer to outdoor events, such as tailgates, when you'll be eating outside. Don't combine foods or use the same plates with raw meat, poultry, eggs or seafood and other foods. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that foods susceptible to contamination are cooked to the right temperature. Do not leave food at room temperature for more than two hours. Use an insulated thermos if you're taking raw or cooked food on the go. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

What's Your Real Salmonella Risk?

Posted 24 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 24, 2017 – Every year, roughly 1 in 6 Americans gets sick from contaminated food. That includes more than 1.2 million illnesses due to the bacteria salmonella. This nasty germ can cause a lot of unpleasant symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and fever, typically lasting for 4 to 7 days. And while foodborne illnesses in general have gone down in recent years, salmonella infections have increased, according to federal statistics. Many cases are contracted from food eaten in restaurants, but salmonella can also be transmitted through common foods bought at stores and cooked at home. Infection is also more of a risk during warm weather when unrefrigerated foods at picnics and barbecues provide the ideal conditions for it. Foods causing the most illnesses include eggs, sprouts and vine-stalk vegetables like tomatoes, according to the U.S. Centers for ... Read more

Related support groups: Salmonella Enteric Fever, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

How Safe Is Your Drinking Water? Take a Look

Posted 23 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23, 2017 – Even if local health officials say it's safe, cloudy drinking water may have the potential to cause vomiting and diarrhea, a new research review finds. Researchers looked at past North American and European studies exploring the link between water cloudiness, or turbidity, and tummy troubles. "More than 10 studies found a link between water turbidity and acute gastrointestinal illness incidence," said researcher Anneclaire De Roos. "These results suggest that exposures through drinking water caused a low but detectable number of acute gastrointestinal illness cases in the regions and time periods studied," added De Roos, an associate professor at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health in Philadelphia. While the study doesn't establish a causal relationship, there's no clear alternative explanation for the patterns of associations seen in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Diarrhea, Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Giardiasis, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Cryptosporidiosis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Camping and Cooking Outdoors

Posted 23 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Anyone preparing for a camping trip that involves outdoor cooking should include a meat thermometer with their camping gear, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says on its foodsafety.gov website. Outdoor cooking is a prime breeding environment for harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. But cooking food to the right internal temperature can help thwart these dangerous germs. The agency suggests: Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops and roasts to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook all poultry, hot dogs and any leftover food to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow meat to sit for three minutes before carving or eating. Be sure to clean the meat thermometer between uses. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Enteric Fever, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Keep Your Sponge Cleaner

Posted 21 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Even microwaving a kitchen sponge won't sterilize it of all harmful bacteria, a study from the University of Furtwangen in Germany found, countering some earlier research. "Because sponges are primarily moist and designed for absorption, they have the potential to pick up bacteria like salmonella, E. coli and staphylococcus," the AARP says. The association suggests how to keep a kitchen sponge cleaner and safer: Replace it regularly. Dry the sponge after each use in a dry location, instead of on the counter or bottom of the sink. Do not wipe up spills from raw fish, poultry or meat with a sponge. Do not use a sponge to clean kitchen counters after preparing food. Read more

Related support groups: Bacterial Infection, Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea, Salmonella Gastroenteritis, Wound Infection

Health Tip: Avoid a Sure Way to Ruin Your Vacation

Posted 14 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Many an overseas traveler has had a rumbling stomach and abdominal cramps, two common warning signs of traveler's diarrhea. This pesky and often dangerous menace can spoil a vacation as fast as its symptoms can creep up on you. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests ways to keep traveler's diarrhea at bay: Drink only bottled beverages, including water. Check to make sure each bottle is properly sealed. Skip the ice. Eat only cooked foods that are served hot. Wash fruit and veggies to be eaten raw in bottled water. Brush teeth with bottled water. Keep your hands clean. Wash them well and often. Read more

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

An Expert's Guide to Preventing Food Poisoning

Posted 13 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Aug. 12, 2017 – Foodborne illnesses sicken almost 50 million people annually in the United States, according to government statistics. But many of those episodes could be prevented, and proper sanitation when handling food is the key, says one expert. "If all of us washed our hands and were careful with food, it would greatly reduce the number of infections we see," said Dr. Ross Rodgers, an emergency medicine physician at Penn State Medical Center. Rodgers offered these tips in a hospital news release: Never use leftover marinade on cooked foods, and don't use utensils that have touched uncooked food to serve prepared items. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that meat is cooked to a safe temperature. (That's 145 degrees Fahrenheit for beef, veal and lamb steaks, roasts or chops; 160 degrees for ground meat and meat mixtures; and 165 degrees for poultry, according to the ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Get the Facts About Salmonella

Posted 28 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Salmonella is a bacterium that's a frequent culprit in foodborne illness. While it often affects eggs and poultry, its reach can spread much wider. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these facts about the germ: Beef, eggs (especially raw), chicken, pork, vegetables, sprouts, fruits and frozen foods are common sources of Salmonella. But you can't smell or taste the germ. Illness from Salmonella occurs more frequently during summer, when food may be left in the heat. Some people are at a greater risk of serious complications from Salmonella. These include young children, seniors and anyone with a compromised immune system. Salmonella is responsible for many more illnesses than are actually reported. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Enteric Fever, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Avoid Recipes With Raw Egg

Posted 24 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

-- You may have a recipe or two that calls for raw egg, such as for Caesar salad dressing, custard or mousse. But since raw egg increases your chances of food poisoning, it's best to use a safer substitute. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests: Use pasteurized eggs, either in fresh, liquid, frozen or powdered form. Combine the eggs with the liquid recommended in the recipe, and heat to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a food thermometer to verify the temperature. Instead of making these foods yourself, buy store-bought versions. They should contain pasteurized egg. Read product labels to make sure. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Keep Your Summer Cookouts Safe

Posted 9 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, July 9, 2017 – Backyard barbecues are a seasonal staple, but summer heat makes it extra important to keep food safety in mind. Bacteria grow faster at temperatures between 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, increasing your risk for foodborne illnesses, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Fortunately, there are a lot of steps consumers can take to keep family and friends from becoming ill," the FDA's Marjorie Davidson said in an agency news release. Davidson is education team leader in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. For starters, make sure your hands are clean. Before you cook or eat, wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If there's no sink available, use a water jug, soap and some paper towels. Or clean your hands with moist, disposable towelettes, the FDA advised. These steps will also help prevent foodborne illness: Don't ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Packing for a Picnic

Posted 4 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Picnicking is lots of fun, but nothing can ruin your outdoor meal faster than a nasty case of food poisoning. The Foodsafety.gov website explains how to reduce your risk: Pack any meat, seafood, poultry, sandwiches, summer salads, fruit, veggies and dairy products in a cold cooler. Fill the cooler with ice to help it stay colder longer. Store it in a shady spot. Avoid opening the cooler to help food stay longer. Read more

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

Think Safety First When Dining Outdoors

Posted 30 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 30, 2017 – When you're hosting picnics in the park or patio barbecues, you might be totally focused on creating the menu and doing your grocery shopping. But how you prepare, transport and serve those special dishes is just as important to avoid foodborne illnesses, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Whether eating on your patio or packing food to go, remember to keep raw meat, chicken and seafood separate from other foods to avoid cross-contamination. Marinate food in the fridge, not on your counter. Avoid drips on the way to the grill and throw out any liquid left in the bowl you used. Wash platters and utensils used on raw meat before using them for cooked foods. Get in the habit of using a food thermometer when grilling to test for doneness, and then keep hot foods hot by moving them to the sides of the grill rack. Keep cold foods well chilled. At ... Read more

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

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