Northwest Colorado Health: Take precautions to avoid food-borne illness
Northwest Colorado Health recommends the following precautions to reduce your risk of food-borne illness.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food or eating or drinking.
- Cook meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to ensure these foods have been cooked to the safe minimum internal temperature.
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Bacteria can grow rapidly between 40 °F and 140 °F. Refrigerate or freeze perishable food within two hours.
- Do not eat dough or batter. Dough and batter made with flour or eggs can contain harmful germs, such as E. coli and salmonella. Do not let children taste raw dough or batter or play with the dough at home or in restaurants.
- Keep meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from other foods. Prevent juices from meat, poultry, and seafood from dripping or leaking onto other foods by keeping them in containers or sealed plastic bags.
- Wash hands, utensils and cutting boards after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry.
- Thaw turkey in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes or in the microwave. Avoid thawing foods on the counter.
- If you are pregnant, avoid raw or unpasteurized milk and products made with it such as soft cheeses. Avoid drinking raw or unpasteurized juice or cider, and do not eat smoked seafood that was sold refrigerated.
Common symptoms of food-borne illness include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and chills. Contact your healthcare provider if you think you have a food-borne illness. For more food safety information and tips, visit foodsafety.gov.
The only common illness that affects children and requires an antibiotic every time is strep throat. Doctors won’t prescribe antibiotics if your child is sick with the flu or a cold because the treatment would be useless for those conditions.