Salmonella, E. coli, and listeria are some of the most common causes of
foodborne illnesses in the U.S. and unfortunately, holidays often bring an uptick in emergency
care visits because of these illnesses. Prevent foodborne illnesses from
disrupting your holiday plans by taking some simple precautions this year.
And if a loved one does require emergency care, Regional Medical Center
of San Jose is always available to lend a hand.
Maintaining cleanliness in the kitchen can effectively curb the transfer
of germs. Scrub kitchen surfaces and your hands before and after preparing
food. Wash your hands again after handling raw eggs, meats, and similar
foods. Beware of cross-contamination; use a plastic cutting board for
all raw meats and a separate cutting board for vegetables. Avoid using
any unwashed dishes, utensils, or other items after they were used for
raw meat. Placing cooked meat on a platter that was used to hold raw meat
will allow germs to contaminate the cooked meat.
Turkeys, roasts, and similar dishes are popular holiday meals, but make
sure they are cooked to the proper internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer
to check the internal temperature. For large items, including whole turkeys,
insert the thermometer into several of the thickest sections to ensure
a uniform internal temperature. These are the
recommended minimum internal temperatures for food expressed in degrees Fahrenheit:
- All poultry: 165
- Pork: 145
- Lamb: 145
- Beef roasts: 145
- Ground meats: 160
- Non-shell seafood: 145
Another important step in preventing foodborne illnesses this holiday
season is to promptly refrigerate raw, perishable foods and cooked foods,
especially meats and egg dishes. If you’re bringing a dish to a
holiday gathering, place it in a cooler with plenty of ice and heat it
up if necessary when you arrive at your destination. If you’re setting
out a holiday buffet, keep warm dishes on hot plates or in slow cookers.
If a severe illness does affect your family this holiday season, you can
count on the
emergency care physicians at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. In addition to high-quality,
responsive care for medical emergencies, our hospital is a leading provider
of stroke care, heart health services, robotic surgery, and many other
specialty services. To request a referral to a provider in San Jose, call
our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 762-8881.