Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning: Tips to Prepare a Safe Holiday Meal

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates that 76 million people get sick, more than 300,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 Americans die each year from food-borne illness. With the holidays around the corner, we will be busy preparing everyone’s favorite homemade dishes, and may be at a greater risk of food poisoning. There are many different bacteria that cause food poisoning, but the most common inflections are caused by Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and botulism.

If you become a victim of food poisoning, it should only last a couple of days – in most cases. Symptoms include diarrhea (possibly bloody), nausea and vomiting, stomach cramping/pain, and possibly a fever. Depending on the severity of the infection and the bacteria involved, you may not need treatment.

Ask your physician for specific recommendations. If you have a fever, you can treat with over-the-counter (OTC) acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®).

  • Make sure and stay hydrated, diarrhea and vomiting can cause dehydration. Try to rest!!!
  • Always read all dosing information on the drug facts located on the back of the product or check with your healthcare professional before taking.

Tips to help prevent food poisoning.

  • Always wash your hands before and after food preparation
  • Keep raw meats away from meal prep stations and cooked foods.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables well.
  • When you are cooking any meats, use a meat thermometer to check its temperature.  Always make sure all meats are cooked thoroughly, especially chicken and pork.
  • When storing those great leftovers, put them in smaller containers, which are easier to reheat thoroughly and completely. Bacteria can grow on leftovers while in the fridge.
  • Cover and refrigerate your leftovers as soon as possible
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