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How to Stay Out of the ER This Thanksgiving

Posted 1 day 23 hours ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 22, 2017 – Taking some simple precautions can help keep you and your family healthy over the Thanksgiving holiday, says an emergency medicine expert. "A few simple steps to avoid preventable injury or illness can go a long way toward making sure you safely enjoy the holiday," Dr. Paul Kivela, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said in news release from the organization. First, follow food safety guidelines. This means washing your hands thoroughly after handling uncooked meat and keeping it separate from other foods. Sanitize any surface that touches raw food. Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours. If you have allergies and did not cook the meal yourself, ask about the ingredients and how the food was prepared. Drink in moderation, the doctors' group advises. And, do not drink and drive. In addition, carefully plan and prepare meals so you ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Burns - External, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Spread Joy, Not Foodborne Illness, for Thanksgiving

Posted 2 days 20 hours ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 21, 2017 – Though foodborne illness can put a quick end to Thanksgiving festivities, that need not be the case, food safety experts say. That's because ensuring that homemade holiday meals are not only delicious but germ-free is within the grasp of not just experienced chefs, but rookie cooks as well. Food safety starts while you're grocery shopping for ingredients, said Brian Ulshafer, executive chef at Penn State Health's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. For instance, "keep any raw meat or seafood away from other foods in the cart," Ulshafer said in a medical center news release. "You don't want to put a raw turkey on top of your lunchmeat." Keeping cold foods cold and hot foods hot is also essential when it comes to preventing foodborne illnesses such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria. Bacteria grow quickly at temperatures ranging from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Cook Your Turkey Safely

Posted 11 days ago by

-- No one wants the Thanksgiving holiday ruined by a nasty case of food poisoning that stems from the guest of honor – the turkey. offers these turkey safe-preparation suggestions: If you'll serve a fresh turkey, buy it no more than two days before Thanksgiving. On the other hand. frozen turkey needs time to thaw properly in the refrigerator. Rely on a refrigerator thermometer to make sure the turkey is stored at 40 degrees F. Use a food thermometer to check that the cooking temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Read more

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

Health Tip: Handle Chicken With Care

Posted 2 Nov 2017 by

-- Chicken is a mainstay in many American households, but it may lead to food poisoning if not cooked properly and handled with care. suggests how to help keep your family safe: Wash handswith warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling chicken. Do not wash raw chicken.Its juices can contaminate other foods, utensils and countertops during washing. Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken. Wash cutting board, utensils, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing chicken. Never place other foods on dirty plates, cutting boards, or other surfaces that held raw chicken. Use a food thermometerand cook chicken to the safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F. If you are served chicken that appears undercooked, send it back for more cooking. Refrigerate or freeze leftover chicken within 2 hours (or within 1 hour if the temperature is higher ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Salmonella Enteric Fever, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Keeping Home-Delivered Food Safe

Posted 24 Oct 2017 by

--Whether you have a new baby, a sick family member or are simply ordering take-out, you are probably having food delivered to you at home. suggests how to keep delivered meals safe: Refrigerate delivered food at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below if you don't eat it immediately. If you don't think you'll eat all the food at once, divide it into portions and refrigerate or freeze what you don't plan to eat now. Remove any stuffing from whole cooked poultry before refrigerating. Foods delivered cold should be eaten within 2 hours, or refrigerated or frozen. Read more

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

Health Tip: Food Safety for People With Cancer

Posted 12 Oct 2017 by

-- Since people with cancer typically have a weakened immune system, they may be at greater risk of contracting foodborne illness. Radiation and chemotherapy often weaken the body's immune system by affecting the blood cells that protect against germs and disease. suggests these steps to stay protected against food poisoning: Wash hands and surfaces often. Separate raw meat and poultry from ready-to-eat foods. Cook food to the right temperature. Refrigerate or freeze raw meat and poultry, and cooked food within two hours. Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Heath Tip: 10 Mistakes People Make in Food Preparation

Posted 19 Sep 2017 by

-- Homemade food should be nutritious and safe. But experts at the 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 12 Sep 2017 by

-- 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 8 Sep 2017 by

-- 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

-- 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

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

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

-- 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 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

-- 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, Wound Infection, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Avoid a Sure Way to Ruin Your Vacation

Posted 14 Aug 2017 by

-- 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

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