Friday, August 07, 2009

Health Tips for August 7

Health Tip: Avoiding Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is caused by eating foods contaminated with salmonella bacteria. Symptoms usually include severe diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers this additional information about salmonellosis:

  • Salmonellosis can come from many foods, including vegetables. But salmonella contamination is most common in animal products such as eggs, milk, poultry and beef.
  • Salmonella can also contaminate pet feces, and can be transmitted to people who don't wash their hands after handling pets or pet feces.
  • Cooking food thoroughly usually prevents salmonellosis.
  • Don't allow uncooked meat to come in contact with other foods that already may be cooked.
  • Wash hands and utensils frequently before, during and after preparing food.

Health Tip: Prepare Food Carefully

The methods you use to prepare and cook food can mean the difference between a savory meal and a bout with food poisoning.

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse offers these suggestions to help prevent food-borne illness:

  • Make sure that all foods -- especially meats -- are cooked thoroughly at a sufficient temperature. Use a meat thermometer to help you decide when food is properly cooked.
  • Wash your hands well with warm, soapy water before and after handling food.
  • Don't allow food to reach room temperature if it is supposed to be served hot or cold.
  • When reheating food, heat it to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Always let food marinate in the refrigerator, never on the counter.
  • Don't leave any food out for more than two hours. Either refrigerate or freeze leftovers, or throw them away after two hours.
  • Don't allow food to thaw at room temperature. Ideally, let it thaw over time in the refrigerator. For a quick defrost, run the food under cool water or put it in the microwave.

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