Prevent Food Borne Illnesses

  • Food borne illnesses tend to increase during the summer months and can play a role in IBD in a couple of different ways. While there is no known cause of IBD one of the areas of interest is that of food born illnesses. Many people who have IBD started that initial flare up after a bout with one of these nasty bugs. In fact the National Institute of Health links food borne illness with IBD. If you already have IBD getting a food born illness can prove to be a huge set back for your health. Either way preventing the issue to begin with can be essential.


    Most food borne illness can be prevented with a little common sense. Make sure that cold food stays cold and hot food stays hot. In general cold foods need to be kept at 40 degrees or below and hot foods at above 140. Each food has a specific internal temperature needed to kill bacteria, which may be up to 180 degrees, so be sure you know your food's specific temperature when preparing it.

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    Do not leave foods at room temperature to defrost, marinade or cool. All of these things should be done in the refrigerator. Large amounts of hot food should be separated into smaller containers so they cool promptly. Check the temperature on your fridge and make sure it stays below 40 degrees.


    Cleanliness can be essential in preventing food borne illness. Make sure you wash your hands well before preparing food, after blowing your nose, going to the bathroom, changing a diaper or handling the family pet. Twenty seconds with hot soapy water is all you need to prevent contamination. Be sure to wash up after handling raw meats or eggs as well. All produce should be washed in running water and dried with a paper towel before being consumed.


    Prevent cross contamination by cutting raw meats and vegetables on separate cutting boards. All utensils, cutting boards, countertops and sponges should be thoroughly washed between uses. A mixture of 1 teaspoon bleach to 1 quart of hot water can sanitize as well.


    If something smells or tastes "off" or you are unsure how long it has been out, DON'T eat it! It is better to be safe than sorry. With a bit of preparation you can avoid food borne illness this summer.


Published On: August 05, 2011