As the end of the year approaches, it’s likely there are multiple meals and parties in your future. Carrying food from one location to another and sharing dishes with a crowd means more opportunity for bacteria to grow and cause food poisoning. Whether you’re an experienced cook, a first-time party host, or simply adding a dish to the potluck lineup, the holidays can make even the most confident chefs nervous. Follow these steps to keep your holidays food poisoning-free:
CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often
SEPARATE: Separate raw meats from other foods
COOK: Cook to the right temperature
CHILL: Refrigerate food promptly
Pregnant women should be especially careful to follow cooking directions on packages since some bacteria are very harmful or deadly to unborn babies. A good safety tip to keep in mind all year, not just in the holiday season: Follow the directions on your ready-to-cook food packages to help keep yourself and your loved ones healthy.
Food poisoning is very common, with the US seeing more than 3 million cases per year.Food borne illness occurs after coming in contact with contaminated or toxic food. It can be transmitted through fecal or oral routes.
Symptoms of food poisoning begin within few hours of consuming the contaminated food and include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Food poisoning can last for a few days to up to two weeks. Accurate diagnosis requires lab test or imaging. It is generally treated by oral medication or intravenous fluid administration.
If you feel you are experiencing food poisoning over the holidays, know that St. Vincent Neighborhood Hospital is open 24/7 for all your medical emergency needs. Find a location near you at www.stvincentneighborhoodhospital.org/locations.