Approximately 85 percent of food poisoning cases are caused by improperly handled food, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.
Don’t let food poisoning ruin your celebrations this summer. Follow these tips for safe picnicking and snacking:
- Do not leave cold or hot foods out for more than two hours. If the temperature is above 90 degrees, don’t leave food out for more than one hour. Throw away leftovers.
- Keep cold foods cold by packing plenty of ice and storing your cooler in the shade. Keep hot foods hot, well wrapped and insulated to maintain a temperature above 140 degrees.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating them. Even foods with rinds, such as melons, need to be washed thoroughly before cutting to prevent contaminating the edible portion.
- Wash your hands frequently before and after handling food. If soap and water is not available, use hand sanitizers or wipes.
Signs of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea. If you experience these symptoms, stay hydrated, and begin a bland diet once the vomiting ceases. Symptoms usually last a few days. Contact a doctor if food poisoning is suspected in young children, pregnant women, elderly people or those with a compromised immune system.
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