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Related terms: E. Coli Enteritis, E. Coli Infection, Traveler's diarrhea, E. coli

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: Keeping Foods Separate During Grilling

Posted 26 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

-- It's important to prevent cross-contamination of food while grilling. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises: Make sure your grill is clean before you begin. Remove any leftover food particles. Don't put cooked food back on the same plate that held raw food. Wash with hot soapy water first, or use a different plate. Use separate grilling utensils to turn food once it's cooked, or thoroughly clean utensils after handling raw food. Never use marinade that contained raw meat to baste cooked meat. Read more

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

Health Tip: Shop for the Freshest Fish

Posted 23 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Fish is a healthy addition to your menu, but it's important to keep it fresh. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises: Shopping for fish displayed on a thick pack of fresh ice in a case. Making sure there is no fishy, sour or ammonia-like odor. Fish should always smell mild and fresh. Looking at the fish's eyes to make sure they are clear and bulging, that gills are bright red (without slime) and that the flesh is shiny, firm and bounces back when you press it. Avoiding fish with signs of darkening or dryness at the edges. Choosing shrimp and other seafood that shines and has no odor. Read more

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

Food, Even Water Can Spoil When the Power Goes Out

Posted 22 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 22, 2016 – Power outages can be more than an inconvenience. They can cause problems with your food and water that could put your family's health at risk. If the power is out for less than four hours, food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to eat, but you should keep the appliance doors closed, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. If the power is out more than four hours, pack milk and other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy and spoilable leftovers into a cooler with ice. A freezer that is full will hold food safely for 48 hours, while a half-full freezer will hold food safely for up to 24 hours, the CDC said in a news release. Avoid opening the freezer door. Before you use any food, check its temperature with a food thermometer. Toss out anything with a temperature above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Power outages also may cause water ... Read more

Related support groups: Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea, Campylobacter 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: Keep Kitchen Surfaces Clean

Posted 28 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

-- A clean kitchen is a healthy kitchen, so make sure your countertops, cutting boards and other surfaces are clean and bacteria-free. The Foodsafety.gov website recommends: Promptly clean up any spills or messes with a clean paper towel or dish towel. Frequently wash dish towels in the washing machine on the hot cycle. Use hot, soapy water to thoroughly clean cutting boards, countertops and food prep utensils after each use. To sanitize your countertops, use a solution of 1 gallon of water and 1 tablespoon of liquid chlorine bleach without fragrance. Read more

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

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

Headed to the Pool? Protect Yourself From the Poop

Posted 10 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, July 9, 2016 – Swimming is a great way to cool off on a hot day, but beware of fecal contamination that can make you sick, an expert says. "The most common problems people get while swimming are intestinal infections, either bacterial or viral," said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville. Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and sometimes fever. These symptoms occur several hours after infection, so people often don't realize they were infected while swimming. There are a number of ways to reduce the risk of such infections. Check the pool before you or your children get in. "Does it have clear and clean water? If not, you should reconsider getting in," Schaffner said in a medical center news release. Before going into a pool, always take a shower. Anyone who has had stomach ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea

Health Tip: Packing for a Picnic

Posted 5 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Don't let contaminated food spoil your summer picnic. Make sure your edibles are safely packed. The Foodsafety.gov website recommends: Packing food in an insulated cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. This includes deli meat, raw seafood, poultry or meat, pasta, egg, tuna, seafood salad, dairy products, and fruit and vegetables. Filling the cooler completely to help it stay cold. Store it in a shady spot, not in direct sunlight. Trying not to open the cooler frequently. Keeping food cold until it's time to cook. Keeping raw meat, seafood and poultry away from prepared foods. Read more

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

Food Safety Should Come 1st on the 4th

Posted 5 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 4, 2016 – While having fun this Fourth of July, don't forget about food safety. "Because foodborne bacteria thrive and multiply more quickly in warmer temperatures, foodborne illness can spike during summer," said Al Almanza, deputy undersecretary for food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). "This is likely because people are spending more time outside – away from the sink and equipment in the kitchen that help consumers keep food safe," he added in a USDA news release. Each year, about one in six Americans (48 million people) suffers from foodborne illnesses, resulting in about 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Always keep cold foods cold (below 40 degrees Fahrenheit) and hot foods hot (above 140 degrees F), says the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. Without refrigeration ... Read more

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

When Cooking Outside, Don't Let Food Safety Slide

Posted 1 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 1, 2016 – Food is a big part of many Fourth of July celebrations. But take care when making and storing your meal, so that a bout of food poisoning doesn't ruin the rest of your holiday plans, a dietary expert advises. When having a picnic or barbecue, it's important to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. "Cold foods should be ideally put in shallow containers and then kept on ice to keep them below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot foods should be kept warm – above 160 degrees – to prevent bacteria from growing on food," said Liz Weinandy, a dietitian at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center. Use a thermometer when cooking. In general, ground meats like hamburgers should be cooked through to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees F, and poultry like chicken breasts to 165 degrees. "Make sure to use separate cutting boards, utensils, tongs and plates for ... Read more

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

FDA Says 'No' to Eating Raw Cookie Dough

Posted 1 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 30, 2016 – Before you lick that raw cookie dough off your spoon, know that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning against it. It's not just the raw eggs that carry food poisoning dangers. Any type of raw dough or batter that contains flour is not safe to eat, including pizza, bread and tortilla dough, cautioned Jenny Scott, a senior advisor in the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. It's also not safe to play with raw dough or batter that contains flour, Scott added. Even if kids aren't eating the dough, germs can get onto their hands. If they put contaminated hands into their mouth, they may develop an infection. Leslie Smoot, a senior advisor in FDA's Office of Food Safety, explained in an agency news release that "flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field, and typically is not treated to kill bacteria." ... Read more

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

Don't Let Bad Food Spoil a Good Barbecue

Posted 29 May 2016 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, May 28, 2016 – Picnics and barbeques are a big part of Memorial Day weekend, but keeping foods safe to eat at these events can be a challenge. The first step is to wash your hands before and after handling any foods. If you're outdoors and don't have access to soap and water, bring along hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, recommended Torey Armul, a registered dietitian nutritionist. "Also, remember to regularly clean your cooler, picnic basket and tote bags because these items can be a breeding ground for bacteria," said Armul, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If you plan to cook food at your picnic site, separate raw meats, poultry and seafood from ready-to-eat foods, she advised in an academy news release. "Use one cooler for raw meats and another one for ready-to-eat foods, such as fruits, vegetables, cheese and desserts. ... Read more

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

New Labeling Offers More Protection for Meat Lovers

Posted 27 May 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 27, 2016 – When you head to the grocery store to select your steaks for grilling this Memorial Day weekend, you might notice a new safety label on the package. This month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a new rule stating that mechanically tenderized beef must now be labeled as such and include safe cooking instructions for consumers. The tenderizing process involves piercing certain cuts of beef with needles or small blades to break up tissue and increase tenderness. But those blades can push germs to the interior of the meat, making proper and thorough cooking crucial. Mechanically tenderized beef looks the same as beef that has not been treated this way, so labeling is needed to alert consumers about this increased food safety risk, according to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. The new labeling rule took effect May 17. "These products, like all ... Read more

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

Make That Memorial Day BBQ Tasty -- and Safe

Posted 27 May 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 27, 2016 – As Americans fire up their grills this Memorial Day weekend, experts note that while there isn't enough evidence to conclude that barbecued meat increases cancer risk, it's still a good idea to take some precautions. "Here's what we do know. Cooking meat at a high temperature – like grilling – creates substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [PAHs] and heterocyclic amines [HCAs], said Alice Bender, head of nutrition programs at the American Institute for Cancer Research. "Smoking or charring meat also contributes to the formation of PAHs. These substances are carcinogens, with the potential to cause changes in DNA that may lead to cancer," Bender said in a news release from the nonprofit organization. She outlined how to reduce the potential risks associated with grilling. Research has suggested that marinating meat before putting it on the barbecue ... Read more

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

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