Preventing Food-borne Illnesses

Each year, approximately 1 in 6 Americans get sick from food poisoning. It’s not uncommon to hear about food being recalled or a new foodborne illness outbreak daily. Most people recover without any long-lasting effects; however, those who are pregnant, the elderly or those with chronic conditions are more at risk for developing complications.

Prevent foodborne illness at your home by being conscious of food safety guidelines. For instance, avoid eating raw or spoiled meats and eggs by checking expirations dates before purchasing and preparing food. Wash your hands, cutting boards and knives with antibacterial soap and hot water after handling raw meat, seafood or eggs. Never serve meat on the same plate it was placed on when it was raw. Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature.

In addition, avoid thawing food at room temperature; instead, defrost foods in the refrigerator and do not refreeze food once it’s been fully thawed. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating, especially those that will not be cooked (like fresh apples or pears) in order to prevent foodborne illness.

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