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Foodborne-illness risk during the holidays can be cut down with simple precautions

As families across the world begin preparation for the family feasts they will be serving during the holidays, there’s one thing that is always a concern and could dampen the holiday spirit, food poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control “each year one in six people get sick from a foodborne illness, and children and the elderly are more susceptible to the pathogens that cause it.” Diseases such as Campylobacter, salmonella, shigella, E. coli, listeria, botulism and norovirus can all be prevented with proper food handling. Below are some steps your family can take when preparing your meal to lower the risk of food poisoning:

·         The safest way to thaw meat is to put it in the refrigerator. A 15-pound turkey will take three to four days to defrost in the refrigerator.

·         If raw meat touches anything, whether it is hands, countertops, dishtowels or sponges, they need to be washed thoroughly before coming into contact with anything else.

·         Food should be reheated to at least 165 degrees, the safe internal temperature for cooking most meats. The best way to make sure food is at a safe temperature is to use a thermometer.

If you or one of your family members does suffer from food poisoning, Dr. Sandra Zackroff says in most cases there isn’t a need to go see a doctor. According to Dr. Zackroff “dehydration is the greatest concern with food poisoning, so it’s important to drink clear fluid, like ginger ale.”

For more information on how to properly prepare and store the food for your family feast, click the link: