Parish Nurse Notes…Food Safety

With Summer activities/festivities soon upon us, let’s talk about Food Safety!

Food poisoning (or food borne illness) happens when you get sick from eating or drinking something that has harmful germs in it – like bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Some common causes of food poisoning are Norovirus, Campylobacter, E. coli and Salmonella.

Follow good habits like these can help protect you and your family from food poisoning:

· Wash your hands often with soap and water-especially before and after touching food.

· Make sure food is cooked to safe temperatures.

· Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood away from food that is cooked or ready to eat, like raw vegetables.

· Keep cold foods COLD and hot foods HOT; this helps prevent bacteria from growing.

Signs of food poisoning may include:

· Stomach upset/cramping

· Nausea/Vomiting

· Diarrhea

· Fever

Signs of food poisoning can start hours, days or even weeks after eating bad food. Usually the effects only last for 1-2 days, but can last up to 2 weeks.

Treatment for most cases is to drink lots of fluids, like water. For more serious illness, you may need treatment at a hospital.

Anyone can get sick from eating bad food, but it is a serious health risk for those who are:

· pregnant, babies and young children, elderly and those with serious health conditions.

Remember to put cold food in the refrigerator within 2 hours; if it’s a hot day, within 1 hour! Remember this on family gatherings, picnics or other outings.

Happy Summer and Healthy, Safe Eating!

In His Healing Love,

Sarah, Parish Nurse