Mainstream Living

Tips From the Safety Committee

September is National Food Safety Education Month. It’s a great time to freshen up on food safety and educate others about preventing food poisoning.  Anyone can get sick from food poisoning, but people over the age of 65 and those with weaker immune systems are more likely to have a serious illness. Food poisoning most often occurs with raw or undercooked meat, especially chicken and turkey. Other common items like eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and raw flour (in cookie dough or cake batter) can also carry harmful germs.  

Take Steps to Prevent Food Poisoning

  • Clean - wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces often when you cook
  • Separate - raw meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs can spread germs. Do NOT wash raw meat or poultry before cooking. 
  • Cook - use a food thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to an internal temperature that kills germs
  • Chill - refrigerate perishable food (foods likely to spoil or go bad quickly) and leftovers within 2 hours, or within 1 hour if the food is exposed to temperatures above 90°F (like a hot car or summer picnic)

Important Food Poisoning Information

  • Food poisoning symptoms can be anywhere from mild to very serious and can take several hours or even days before symptoms are developed.
  • Symptoms can include: upset stomach, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.
  • A physician should be contacted for the following: bloody diarrhea, signs of dehydration (dizziness, very dry mouth, little urination), fever over 102, or symptoms that last more than three days.  
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