Afraid to Get Sick? Check the 'STOP Foodborne Illness Holiday Tip List'

Dec 23, 2015 06:00 AM EST | By J. Navarra

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With all of the food recalls and food borne illnesses popping up in almost every state in the United States, it's always best to start being clean and sanitary at home. Here are some tips that you can do to STOP food borne illnesses during the holidays.

The Senior Policy Coordinator for STOP Foodborne Illness, Darin Detwiler, indicated that 48 million Americans get sick every year because of germs, bacteria and other food connected pathogens. And most Americans think it's not going to hit them, but at least once, it does in one way or another. Detwiler expresses...

STOP's primary concern is keeping pathogens from reaching consumers in the first place, but until that happens, we want to help consumers buy, store and prepare food safely. 

Young woman slicing vegetables in kitchen
(Photo : Gettyimages)

Follow these tips for a safe holiday eating and you can also do the same for the rest of the year:

1. Always wash your hands with water and soap when preparing food - always before and after food preparation. Remember that winter is norovirus season and it's usually spread by unclean hands.

2. When checking food temperature, use a thermometer for meat, seafood and especially poultry. Make sure the thickest part of the food is checked properly and it's at a proper internal temperature. The safe internal temperature for poultry including ground poultry meat is 165 ºF, ground meat and burgers are safer at 160 ºF, seafood at 145 ºF and whole meat cuts which includes pork should reach 145 ºF. Also make sure to clean and wash the temperature itself in between readings.

3. Always avoid food cross-contaminations. Keep raw meat, including poultry and seafood in separate bags even when shopping at the grocery store. Keep these bags away from each other from your food cart to your kitchen table. It's best to use one cutting board for raw meat and a separate one for vegetables and other non-meat perishables.

4. When trying out a homemade recipe for eggnogs and meringues, always use pasteurized eggs. 

5. Lastly, any food that is perishable that has already reached room temperature can be susceptible to bacteria and pathogens, so it's better to store left overs in the fridge right away. Left over food should be eaten after three days of being refrigerated and always boil left over sauces - the better to kill the germs with heat. 

If you think you're ill because of some food related causes, you can call STOP Foodborne Illness through their hotline 773-269-6555 or visit their website for more information, as reported online.

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