December 20, 2008
State Public Health Director Promotes Food Safety Tips for the Holidays
Tips will help avoid food-borne illness
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To keep Illinoisans healthy this holiday season, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold is encouraging everyone to take precautions when cooking and preparing holiday meals for loved ones.
“Food is an important part of many holiday celebrations, but don’t let food-related illness ruin your holiday,” said Dr. Arnold. “Make sure to follow proper precautions when handling food to prevent you or your loved ones from food-related illness this holiday season.”
Food safety boils down to three basic rules:
In Illinois, it is estimated that as many as 250,000 cases of foodborne illness may occur each year. However, because these illnesses can be quite mild and because the vast majority of them occur in the home, many go unreported. Yet, foodborne illnesses can lead to serious complications and even death. Therefore, how you handle food in your home can mean the difference between health and illness.
If you or a family member develop nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever or abdominal cramps, you could have food poisoning. Symptoms of foodborne illnesses can appear anywhere from 30 minutes to two weeks after eating the contaminated food. Most often, people get sick within four to 48 hours after eating bad food. Some foodborne illnesses will resolve without treatment. However, if the symptoms are severe or if the victim is very young, old, pregnant or already ill, call a doctor or go to a nearby hospital immediately.
The Illinois Department of Public Health encourages the following food safety practices to avoid food-borne illness:
For more information on proper food safety practices, please visit the IDPH website www.idph.state.il.us/about/fdd/holiday_fs.htm.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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