Friday, December 10, 2010

Food poisoning awareness urged during holidays

Illinois public health experts are offering tips to help avoid food poisoning over the holiday season.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says federal estimates show foodborne diseases cause about 76 million illnesses a year and in Illinois the figure is as many as 250,000 illnesses a year. Public health experts encourage cooks to keep everything in the kitchen clean, wash their hands often and keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Meats and poultry should be thoroughly cooked. Hot food should be served at 140 degrees and cold foods at or below 40 degrees.

Experts say party guests should be cautious when eating raw oysters, egg drinks and other bacteria-prone foods.

Food poisoning symptoms can appear between 30 minutes to two weeks after eating contaminated food. 

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