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Bring Delicious Food to the Table, Not Bacteria

foodborne illness & holidays, milwaukee injury lawyer

Food brings people together. Whether you are coming together in the kitchen, around a table, at a restaurant, or anywhere else, you expect to share a delicious meal with people you care about on Thanksgiving. One thing you want to avoid bringing to the table is illness-causing bacteria, viruses and parasites. Keep your friends and family safe from foodborne illness with the information we’ve gathered below!

According to the CDC, “48 million people fall sick from foodborne illnesses each year. Of those, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die.” The contamination can start anywhere – on the farm, manufacturer, store-level, or during the cooking and serving process. There are many safeguards in the food industry to keep contaminated food from reaching our digestive systems, but we also need to do our part.

You can find detailed food safety tips on the CDC website or at FoodSafety.gov, but here are the basics:

  • Clean – Wash your hands, utensils and work surfaces often when preparing food. Be sure to wash your fruits and vegetables, too, to get rid of any chemicals or bacteria growth.
  • Separate – Keep ready-to-eat foods away from raw meat and eggs.
  • Cook to Safe Temperature(s) – Using a food thermometer is the surest way to check if meat is done cooking. Safe internal meat temperatures: 145 degrees Fahrenheit for steak, pork and seafood; 160 degrees for ground beef, pork or lamb; and 165 degrees for all poultry and any leftovers. Check out this chart from FoodSafety.gov.
  • Chill – Refrigerate any perishable leftover foods after an hour or two of cooking and try not to thaw foods by leaving them out at room temperature. The “Danger Zone” is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, when bacteria grows more rapidly. Keep your fridge temps between 33 and 40 degrees.
  • Dispose – Eat those leftovers fast! Most perishable leftovers should be consumed or thrown out after three days. Here’s another handy chart to help you know safe storage periods.

Pass the turkey while taking a pass on food poisoning. You don’t want to be the reason someone gets sick. If you experience symptoms of foodborne illness (upset stomach, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration) for more than three days, see a doctor and report any potential outbreak or large contamination issues to your local health department.

Sperling Law Offices wishes you a happy and fulfilling holiday season. If you suffered an injury and would like to speak with an experienced attorney, call 414-273-7777 for your free consultation. Visit MilwaukeeLawFirm.com for more information on personal injury law.