Preventing Food-Borne Illness, Client Handout

COPY AND DISTRIBUTE TO YOUR CLIENTS client handout Preventing Food-Borne Illness D o you buy nutritious foods to help you stay healthy? Good for you! However, you also need to prevent food-borne illness--and that means handling and storing foods properly. According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), government statistics show that 76 million cases of food-borne illness occur in the United States each year. To help reduce the incidence of this type of illness, the ADA launched a public-awareness initiative called "Food Safety: It's in Your Hands." According to Debra Wein, MS, RD, president of The Sensible Nutrition Connection Inc. in Hingham, Massachusetts, you can avoid many food-borne illnesses by following these four guidelines from the ADA's initiative: 1. Wash Your Hands Often. This simple strategy can eliminate nearly half of all cases of food-borne illness and may also help you avoid catching a cold or the flu! Wash your hands in warm--not cold--soapy water before preparing foods and after handling raw meat, poultry and seafood. Always wash your hands (front and back) up to the wrists, making sure you clean between the fingers and under the fingernails. The goal is to wash for at least 20 seconds. One way to ensure you do this is to sing two choruses of "Happy Birthday" while lathering! Dry your hands with a clean cloth towel, let them air-dry or use disposable paper towels. In the kitchen, clean all countertops, appliances and utensils with hot, soapy water. Wash dishcloths and towels in the washing machine, using the hot water cycle. Disinfect sponges with a chlorine bleach solution and replace them often. (A smelly sponge is a sure sign that bacteria are present.) 2. K e e p R a w M e a t s a n d R e a d y - t o - E a t F o o d s Separate. Always keep two cutting boards (they can be mometer at the supermarket or local hardware store--and remember to use it! In general, cook all foods to an internal temperature between 160 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit (

IDEA Health Fitness Source , Volume 2002, Issue 6

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