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Preventing Food Poisoning — Food Safety Tips

Preventing Food Poisoning

Spring is here, which means warm weather and family cookouts will be underway once again. According to the CDC, 1 in 6 people gets sick from eating contaminated food each year. Use these safety tips when preparing food for yourself and your loved ones:

How Food Becomes Contaminated

You can get food poisoning after ingesting food that has been contaminated with a variety of toxic substances or germs. You can also become sick after eating food that has spoiled, was not cooked completely, or was not refrigerated properly after purchasing.

Common symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea after eating contaminated food. Pregnant women, young children, and older adults are at a higher risk of developing a foodborne illness.

Tips to Keep Your Food Safe

1. Avoid Cross-Contamination of Food

Raw eggs, seafood, poultry, and red meat can spread germs when uncooked. Make sure you wash your knives, cutting boards, bowls, and countertops before working with another food item. For instance, if you’re cutting raw meat, you’ll want to wash your utensils and workstation before begin preparing your vegetables or side dish.

When shopping, keep these items separate from each other in your shopping cart and in the fridge. Also, be sure to never put cooked meat or foods on the same plate the raw food was previously on. This will help ensure your cooked food is not cross-contaminated.

2. Wash Your Hands and Surfaces Often

Even if you clean your countertop, germs that can poison your food can spread to other places in the home. Wash your hands for 20-30 seconds with warm water and soap before preparing food, and after working with raw meat and eggs. Be sure to also rinse fresh vegetables and fruits under running water.

3. Cook Your Food to the Right Temperature

Cooking your food to the recommended temperature kills the germs that can make you sick. The only way to tell if your food is cooked thoroughly is to use a thermometer — not by a change in color or texture.

The CDC recommends the following internal temperatures:

  • 145°F for whole cuts of beef, pork, veal, and lamb (then allow the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or eating).
  • 160°F for ground meats, such as beef and pork.
  • 165°F for all poultry, including ground chicken and turkey.
  • 165°F for leftovers and casseroles.
  • 145°F for fresh ham.
  • 145°F for fish or cook until flesh is opaque.

4. Refrigerate Your Food Quickly

Keep your fridge set below 40 degrees to keep your food fresh. Also, refrigerate perishable foods within 2 hours of bringing it home — or within 1 hour if the outdoor temperature is over 90 degrees. For frozen food, be sure to thaw it safely in your fridge, under cold water, or in the microwave — never thaw food on your countertop.

Food Poisoning Treatment in Bloomfield Hills MI

You should seek medical treatment if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent vomiting.
  • High fever of over 102 degrees.
  • Diarrhea that lasts longer than three days.

If you feel ill, visit Bloomfield Urgent Medical Care for food poisoning treatment. Find out more about the wellness and preventive care services offered at Bloomfield Urgent Medical Care by calling (248) 230-2918 for our Bloomfield location or (734) 404-7508 for our Plymouth location.

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