Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Wis. – Preventing a food-borne illness can be a bit more challenging during the summer months when temperatures rise and more people enjoy outdoor picnics, barbeques and camping.
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals registered dietitian, Health Krieger says bacteria grow faster in warmer months because hot and humid conditions cause it to multiply. Bacteria can potentially double in as little as 20 minutes.
“The key to a healthy and happy summer gathering is keeping food temperature and time in mind. And when in doubt, throw it out.”
HSHS hospitals recommend the following food safety practices:
- Do not use the same utensils, cutting board and dishes for raw food and cooked food.
- Thaw and marinate food in the refrigerator – not on the counter.
- Discard marinades and sauces that have touched raw meat.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before peeling or cutting to prevent germs on the food’s peeling from spreading to the inside.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure foods are cooked thoroughly.
- 145° F for fish, steaks and roasts
- 160° F for ground beef, pork and lamb
- 165° F for chicken and turkey
- Discard food left unrefrigerated for more than two hours. When it’s above 90° F, reduce this time to one hour.
- Wash your hands often when preparing, handling and storing food.
- Keep hot food hot and cold food cold. If using a cooler, put raw foods on the bottom with ice packed on top.
- Allow food to cool to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator.
- Store leftovers in smaller containers rather than one large container so it cools faster.
Food-borne illnesses affect 48 million people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms of a food-borne illness can include upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and nausea.
Emergency rooms at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, 900 W. Clairemont Ave. and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, 2661 County Hwy I, are open 24/7 to provide expert care when you need it most.
More information about food-borne illnesses and safe food handling practices can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and at FoodSafety.gov.
About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.
About HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1885, it has served the people of the Chippewa Falls area with health care that is high tech and high touch. Known locally for the quality of the care it provides patients, the hospital has been recognized nationally for its outstanding patient satisfaction levels.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states – Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.