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Great grilling without the food borne illnesses
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Well the official start of summer is just around the corner and before you know it, the fourth of July will be upon us once more. Yes for many of us, the fourth of July marks the official start of the “Outdoor Grilling Season” which usually comes too and end once the temperatures either reaches single digits in your part of the country and/or your favorite NFL team has been eliminated from post season play. Either way you undoubtedly have had food borne illness or know someone that has. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that every year, about 76 million people in the United States becomes ill from pathogens, or disease causing substances in food.

So now you’re probably wondering what exactly causes one to get ill from food borne illness. Well, food borne illnesses are caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated with bacteria, parasites, or viruses. Harmful chemicals can also cause food borne illnesses if they have contaminated food during harvesting or processing. Some of the Symptom that can be attributed to food borne illnesses range from an upset stomach to more serious symptoms, including diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and dehydration. Worst of all, food borne illnesses, symptoms resemble intestinal flu and may last a few hours or even several days. Does not sound like a great way to spend the rest of the week.

Well we will try to help you avoid ruining a few precious days of the summer months, by outlining a few simple steps to take when you’re enjoying a meal during the warm days of summer.

1. In most cases, food borne illnesses can be prevented through proper cooking or processing of food, which kills bacteria. Also, because bacteria multiply rapidly between the temperatures of 40°F and 140°F, food must be kept out of this temperature range.

2. Wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after preparing food and after using the bathroom or changing diapers.

3. Refrigerate foods promptly. If prepared food stands at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it may not be safe to eat.

4. Prevent cross-contamination. Clean surfaces well before and after using them to prepare food.

5. Keep cold food cold and hot food hot.

6. Maintain hot cooked food at 140°F or higher.

7. Reheat cooked food to at least 165°F.

8. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, produce, prepared food, and leftovers within 2 hours. A wide range of food storage products can be found at www.kbimedicalsupplies.com under the General Medical Supplies category and then browse through the Dietary Supplies sub-category.

9. Never let food marinate at room temperature—refrigerate it.

Remember, in most cases of food borne illnesses can be prevented by following these few steps. For more information about prevention of food borne illnesses, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a fact sheet on safe food handling at www.usda.gov

Author name:
Keith Bussey
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