Milk Maid

Let’s have fun, not food poisoning

Over the weekend the news broke nationally that at least 60 people have been made sick and 31 are in the hospital after eating pre-cut melon contaminated with salmonella, said federal health officials.

The suspected cut melon products were sold in stores including Costco, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Walgreens and Whole Foods in eight states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

According to the CDC, one in six Americans will become sick with food poisoning this year.

Why is this important to note?

With nice summer weather brings along parties and gatherings where food bourne illnesses and food poisoning can happen.

According to the Mayo Clinic, food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is an illness caused by eating contaminated food. Infectious organisms or their toxins can contaminate food at any point of processing or production. Contamination can also occur at home if food is incorrectly handled or cooked.

To prevent food poisoning, they recommend washing your hands, utensils and food surfaces often; preventing cross-contamination; cook foods to a safe temperature; cook meat to the correct temperature; refrigerate or freeze perishable foods promptly, within two hours of purchasing or preparing them; defrosting food safely and throwing it out when in doubt.

Another separate salmonella outbreak nationwide was also noted this past week, but this time it involved backyard chickens.

According to the CDC, there have been 124 cases in 36 states cited so far this year.

Chickens can carry salmonella.

It’s incredibly important to practice proper sanitation when handling raw eggs and chickens to prevent salmonella and its spread.

I remember when I was really young, my brother caught salmonella from handling baby chicks.

It’s a common occurrence and can happen to anyone. Backyard chickens are incredibly popular and even I have some a flock of free ranging birds.

Here are some tips for all the fellow feathered friends fans to staying healthy:

•Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in their environment.

•Don’t let children younger than 5 years handle or touch live poultry without adult supervision.

•Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of your birds and keep those outside of your home.

•Do not let live poultry inside the house, in bathrooms, or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens or outdoor patios. (This is not an issue for my family, but there are many out there that really love their birds).

During your next family barbecue, church potluck or social event, take note of how the food is being prepared and stored.

You want your event be associated with fun, not food poisoning.

Brittany Moorse

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