Feel a bit ill after the last picnic or camping trip? Did you leave your food in cooler a little too long? If food is not cooked to the proper temperature, or if food is not stored at the proper temperature, it is possible that unwanted ‘things’ can grow on our tasty summer treats.
Don’t worry, it is easy to avoid stomach illness due to tainted food.
The Food and Drug Administration has a simple four-step process for eating healthy.
- Clean – Start your food preparation with clean hands. Wash your hands before cooking. Make sure you cooking utensils and surfaces are clean as well. Wash and clean foods as instructed.
- Separate – Different foods may require different cooking times or no cooking at all. Keep raw meats and eggs away from foods that do not require cooking. (Think, no raw hamburger next to the cucumbers you are serving for an appetizer).
- Cook – Read all food preparation instructions. Cook foods the recommended temperature. While cooking a steak rare might be tasty, uncooked and undercooked foods can carry bacteria and diseases that are harmful to humans.
- Chill – Make sure your prepared foods are promptly stored at the correct temperature so that bacteria does not develop, and food does not spoil. Bigger containers might need to be stirred to ensure that the middle of the container is cooled at the same temperature at the edge of the container. You can learn more about storage specifics at here.
What Should I Do If I Get Sick?
Food can be tainted by a variety of bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Each can cause a variety of different symptoms. From www.healthline.com, “common symptoms include:
- abdominal cramps
- loss of appetite
- mild fever
Symptoms of potentially life-threatening food poisoning include:
- diarrhea persisting for more than three days
- a fever higher than 101.5°F
- difficulty seeing or speaking
- symptoms of severe dehydration, which may include dry mouth, passing little to no urine, and
- difficulty keeping fluids down
- bloody urine
- If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately.”
If you suspect you or a loved one has food-borne illness, visit any of our UNI urgent care clinics immediately for a consultation, or call medical emergency services.