May 22, 2009
Memorial Day Weekend Food Safety Tips
Properly cook all food to avoid illness
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Picnics and cookouts often top the list of activities for Memorial Day weekend. But remember, special precautions need to be taken when preparing and serving food during warm weather to avoid foodborne illnesses like salmonellosis.
To help prevent foodborne illness:
Cook ground meat, where bacteria can spread during grinding, to at least 160° Fahrenheit. Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness, so use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your burgers. For a list of safe food temperatures, log onto www.idph.state.il.us/about/fdd/safecooktemp.htm.
Make sure to keep raw meat, fish or poultry cold until it is cooked and make sure it does not come in contact with ready-to-eat food (e.g., cheese, sliced onions, tomatoes or bread). Also, never place cooked meats on the same plate or pan that held raw meats.
Do not leave food un-refrigerated longer than one hour at a time. Some popular cold picnic foods are potentially hazardous and require special care.
Foods served hot, especially creamed or scalloped dishes containing milk, eggs, cornstarch or flour, should be cooked just before picnic time and kept hot and covered until served.
The symptoms of most types of food poisoning include severe cramps, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms typically begin from 30 minutes to three days after eating contaminated food.Most cases of foodborne illness are mild, and the symptoms disappear in a day or two. If symptoms are severe or last longer than two days, contact a physician.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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