With the holidays approaching, many people look forward to holiday parties and dinners. Unfortunately, these gatherings can also have uninvited guests, germs that can cause food poisoning, caution the Barry Eaton District Health Department.
Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid sickness and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. Wet your hands with water and apply soap.
Scrub your hands at least 20 seconds, rubbing the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails. Rinse well and dry with a clean towel or air dry.
Many people will bring food to meals and celebrations. To protect yourself and your family from food poisoning follow these easy steps:
*Use a food thermometer and heat your food high enough to kill bacteria; poultry, stuffed meats, and casseroles to 165°F, hamburgers and bratwursts to 155°F and pork, fish, and raw shelled eggs to 145°F.
*Keep food hot after cooking, at 135°F or above, and reheat cooked foods to 165F or above within two hours.
*Wash hands and surfaces often; hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before, during and after preparing food and food contact surfaces and utensils with soap after each use. Wash raw fruits and vegetables with running water.
*Refrigerate perishable foods within two hours of preparation or service. Never thaw or marinate foods at room temperature and know when to throw foods out by visiting www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/storagetimes.html.
*Use separate cutting boards and plates for raw produce and raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. Separate meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from other foods in your grocery bags and in the refrigerator. Always store raw meats below and away from any ready-to-eat foods in the refrigerator.
Signs of food poisoning can include upset stomach, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration. These can be mild to severe and may differ depending on the germ that is making you sick.
If you think you may have food poisoning, call your health care provider. If at all possible, do not prepare food for others within 24-48 hours of being sick with vomiting or diarrhea. If you suspect food poisoning from eating at a food service establishment or a large gathering, please contact the Barry-Eaton District Health Department at (269) 945-9516 in Barry County or (517) 543-2430 in Eaton County.
For more information on handwashing, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/. For home food safety tips and information, visit www.foodsafety.gov.