Food poisoning prevention
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To avoid food poisoning --
TIPS FOR COOKING OR PREPARING FOOD:
- Carefully wash your hands before preparing or serving food
- Cook eggs until they are solid, not runny
- DO NOT eat raw ground beef, chicken, eggs, or fish
- Heat all casseroles to 165 degrees Fahrenheit
- Hotdogs and luncheon meats should be heated to steaming
- If you care for young children, wash your hands often and dispose of diapers carefully so bacteria don't spread to food surfaces
- Use only clean dishes and utensils
- Use a thermometer when cooking beef (to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit), poultry (to at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit), or fish (to at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit)
TIPS FOR STORING FOOD:
- DO NOT use foods that have an unusual odor or spoiled taste
- DO NOT place cooked meat or fish back onto the same plate or container that held the raw meat, unless the container has been thoroughly washed
- DO NOT use outdated foods, packaged foods with a broken seals, or cans that are bulging or dented
- If you can your own foods at home, be sure to follow proper canning techniques to prevent botulism
- Keep the refrigerator set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit
- Promptly refrigerate any food you will not be eating
ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR PREVENTING FOOD POISONING:
- All milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products should have the word "Pasteurized" on the container
- DO NOT eat foods that may contain raw eggs (such as Caesar salad dressing, raw cookie dough, egg nog, and hollandaise sauce)
- DO NOT eat raw honey, only honey that has been heat treated. Do not give honey to children under 1 year of age
- DO NOT eat Mexican style cheeses (such as queso blanco fresco)
- DO NOT eat raw vegetable sprouts (such as alfalfa and mung bean)
- DO NOT eat shellfish that has been exposed to red tides
- Wash all raw fruits, vegetables, and herbs with cold, running water
TIPS FOR EATING OUT SAFELY:
- Ask if all fruit juices have been pasteurized
- Be careful at salad bars, buffets, sidewalk vendors, potluck meals, and delicatessens
- Use only salad dressings, sauces, and salsas that come in single-serving packaging
TIPS FOR TRAVELING WHERE CONTAMINATION IS COMMON:
- DO NOT eat raw vegetables or unpeeled fruit
- Drink only boiled water
- Eat only hot, freshly cooked food
If you become sick after eating and other people may have eaten the same food, let them know. If you think the food was contaminated when you bought it from a store or restaurant, tell the store or restaurant and your local health department.
For more detailed information please see Food - hygiene and sanitation or see the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service website.
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Pigott DC. Foodborne Illness. Emerg Med Clin North Am. May 2008;26(2).
DuPont HL. Approach to the patient with suspected enteric infection. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier. 2007: chap 305.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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