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It’s estimated that one in four North Americans will contract some form of food poisoning each year. Surveys in Canada and the United States reveal that most people are unaware of the magnitude of foodborne illness, potentially putting them at greater risk of becoming ill from contaminated food.
It's estimated that one in four North Americans will contract some form of food poisoning each year. Surveys in Canada and the United States reveal that most people are unaware of the magnitude of foodborne illness, potentially putting them at greater risk of becoming ill from contaminated food.
Common symptoms of food poisoning include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills and fever. They can appear within a few hours after eating a contaminated food or several days to weeks - even up to a month or more - when they're no longer clearly linked to a particular food. In fact, many cases of food poisoning go unreported because symptoms are passed off as the stomach flu or overeating.
Food poisoning is caused by bacteria, bacterial toxins and molds in foods. Bacteria are normally present everywhere - in the air, soil, water and in people and animals. But disease-causing bacteria multiply rapidly in the danger zone, a temperature range of 4°C (40°F) and 60°C (140°F), leading to food contamination.
Because most food poisoning bacteria are odourless, colourless and tasteless, there are no clues to a harmful food. The only way to guard against foodborne illness is to handle foods safely in the first place. Practice the following food safety tips to keep your family's foods safe to eat.
Wash hands (for 20 seconds), utensils and cooking surfaces with soap and hot water before you handle food, repeatedly while preparing food, and again once you've finished. Use paper towels to wipe counters or change dishcloths daily to avoid the spread of bacteria. Avoid using sponges to clean surfaces since they're harder to keep clean.
Bacteria can be unknowingly spread from food to people, people to food, or from one food to another.
Prepare foods quickly, cook them thoroughly and serve immediately after cooking. Don't let foods linger at temperatures where bacteria can flourish [4°C (40°F) to 60°C (140°F)]. The food safety motto: keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
Beef, pork, veal 71ºC (160ºF)
Chicken, turkey 80ºC (176ºF)
Rare 63ºC (145ºF)
Medium 71ºC (160ºF)
Well done 77ºC (170ºF)
Rolled beef roasts or steaks 71ºC (160ºF)
Pork chops 71ºC (160ºF)
Roasts 71ºC (160ºF)
Fresh cured ham 71ºC (160ºF)
Cooked ham (to reheat) 60ºC (140ºF)
Chicken, turkey - whole, stuffed 82ºC (180ºF)
Chicken - whole, unstuffed 82ºC (180ºF)
Turkey - whole, unstuffed 77ºC (170ºF)
Chicken, turkey - pieces 77ºC (170ºF)
EGGS & EGG DISHES
Egg casseroles, sauces, custards 71ºC (160ºF)
Reheated 74ºC (165ºF)
www.canfightbac.org (The Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education)
www.fightbac.org (The Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Information)
http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/toce.shtml (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.
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