lunes, 9 de julio de 2012

Recent E.coli outbreak calls attention to food safety rules

The recent outbreak of foodborne illness in several southern states, including the death of a young girl in New Orleans, calls attention to the need for individuals to follow food safety practices.
The outbreak and death have been linked to E. coli 0145, a strain of bacteria that produces a deadly toxin that can cause severe kidney damage and death
Most strains of E. coli are harmless and live in the intestines of animals, including humans. But several of them can cause mild to serious disease. Symptoms of E. coli infection include a mild fever, severe abdominal and stomach cramps, diarrhea – which is often bloody – and vomiting.
Some people, especially young children and the elderly, can develop Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a condition that can lead to serious kidney damage and even death, as a result of exposure to the Shiga-toxin produced by some strains of E. coli. 
Several outbreaks of the E. coli 0157:H7 strain infections have occurred in recent years.  These outbreaks were associated with undercooked or raw hamburger, alfalfa sprouts, contaminated lettuce and other leafy greens, unpasteurized fruit juices, game meat, dry-cured salami, cheese curds and raw milk.
Most foodborne illness can be prevented by following basic food safety rules:
– At the grocery, choose frozen and refrigerated items last so they remain cold until you get home.
– Refrigerate or freeze perishable foods as soon as you get home.
– Wash hands, utensils and work surfaces often, both before and after preparing foods.
– Don't allow raw meats, poultry or seafood (or their juices) to contact and contaminate other foods. Keep raw food separate from ready-to-eat or already cooked foods.
– Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry and seafood.
– Cook meats to recommended temperatures using a food thermometer.
– Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb and veal to an internal temperature of 160 degrees as measured with a food thermometer. 
– Cook all poultry to an internal temperature of 165 degrees as measured with a food thermometer.
– Marinate food in the refrigerator, not at room temperature on the counter.
– Thaw food in the refrigerator, under cold tap water or in the microwave, not on the counter.
– Wash fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly in clean, running water. Immediately refrigerate any fresh-cut items such as salad or fruit for best quality and food safety.
– Refrigerate leftovers promptly and reheat leftovers to 165 degrees before eating.
– Don't leave cooked food out at room temperature for more than two hours, one hour when the temperature is above 90 degrees.
Aporte: Ninoska Cordero

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