WASHINGTON— Nearly 400 people in 42 states across the country have been infected with salmonella food poisoning, according to federal officials who are investigating the outbreaks. Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause nausea, headache, diarrhea and stomach cramps. More serious symptoms include blurred vision, fatigue and dry mouth.
"Dehydration is a major concern with food poisoning," said Dr. Nick Jouriles, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). "Adults and especially small children should immediately seek medical attention for excessive throwing up and diarrhea."
Every year, approximately 10,000 people die each year in the United States because of food poisoning. Many more become ill enough to seek emergency care.
The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recommends you take steps to prevent contracting any food-borne illness. People should thoroughly cook their foods, such as meat, poultry and eggs.
"Keep in mind, even the healthiest of foods can become dangerous if not handled properly," said Dr. Jouriles. "Each year, emergency departments treat thousands of people who have contracted some type of food-borne illness. Most symptoms begin from two hours to two days after eating the tainted food."
How To Avoid it:
· Keep a clean kitchen. Regularly wash and sanitize counters, kitchen utensils and cutting boards.
· Use special care when handling meat, poultry and seafood. Always separate raw foods from other foods.
· Wash your hands liberally, especially before preparing food and before eating.
· Check dates on food you buy, making sure it did not expire.
· Refrigerate leftover meat, poultry, vegetables, liquids as soon as possible.
· Do not let your food sit out of a refrigerator for longer than 2 hours.
· Use a thermometer in cooking making sure your food is at the regulated temperature.
· Rinse foods thoroughly such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
· Eat foods soon after they've been cooked.
· Don't eat raw shell fish; do not drink unpasteurized dairy products.
· Follow any recommended precautions on food labels.
· Don't hold on to leftovers too long. When in doubt, throw it out.
Recommended Internal Temperatures for Cooked Foods: (Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Fresh ground beef, veal, lamb, pork 160°F 71°C
Beef, veal, lamb roasts, steaks, chops: medium rare 145°F 63°
Beef, veal, lamb roasts, steaks, chops: medium 160°F 71°C
Beef, veal, lamb roasts, steaks, chops: well done 170°F 77°C
Fresh pork roasts, steaks, chops: medium 160°F 71°C
Fresh pork roasts, steaks, chops: well done 170°F 77°C
Ham: cooked before eating 160°F 71°C
Ham: fully cooked, to reheat 140°F 60°C
Ground chicken/turkey 165° F 74°C
Whole chicken/turkey 180° F 82°C
Poultry breasts, roasts 170° F 77°C
For more information on health and safety, go to Emergency Care for You.http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/EmergencyManual/WhatToDoInMedicalEmergency/Default.aspx?id=244&terms=food+safety