domingo, 14 de octubre de 2012

Long-Term Effects |

Long-Term Effects |

Food Safety Myths Exposed |

Dangerous Food Safety Mistakes |

New Links on MedlinePlus

10/09/2012 08:00 PM EDT

Source: Dept. of Health and Human Services
Related MedlinePlus Page: Foodborne Illness
10/09/2012 08:00 PM EDT

Source: Dept. of Health and Human Services
Related MedlinePlus Page: Food Safety
10/09/2012 08:00 PM EDT

Source: Dept. of Health and Human Services
Related MedlinePlus Page: Food Safety

Long-Term Effects

Nurse caring for patient in the hospitalOne in six Americans will get sick from food poisoning this year. That’s about 48 million people. Most of them will recover without any lasting effects from their illness. For some, however, the effects can be devastating and even deadly.
Here are some serious effects associated with several common types of food poisoning.

Kidney failure

Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is a serious illness that usually occurs when an infection in the digestive system produces toxic substances that destroy red blood cells, causing kidney injury. HUS may occur after infection with some kinds of E. coli bacteria.
HUS is most common in children. In fact, it is the most common cause of acute kidney failure in children.

Chronic arthritis

A small number of persons with Shigella or Salmonella infection develop pain in their joints, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination. This is called reactive arthritis. It can last for months or years, and can lead to chronic arthritis, which is difficult to treat. Persons with Campylobacter infections may also develop chronic arthritis.

Brain and nerve damage

A Listeria infection can lead to meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain. If a newborn infant is infected with Listeria, long-term consequences may include mental retardation, seizures, paralysis, blindness, or deafness.
Guillain-Barré syndrome is a disorder that affects the nerves of the body. This occurs when a person's immune system attacks the body's own nerves. It can result in paralysis that lasts several weeks and usually requires intensive care.  As many as 40 percent of Guillain-Barré syndrome cases in this country may be triggered by an infection with Campylobacter.


In the United States, approximately 3,000 people die each year of illnesses associated with food poisoning. Five types of organisms account for 88 percent of the deaths for which the cause is known: Salmonella, Toxoplasma, Listeria, norovirus, and Campylobacter.
Other types of foodborne illness may cause death as well. For example, some Vibrio infections (usually associated with eating raw shellfish) may infect the bloodstream and cause a severe, life-threatening illness. About half of these infections are fatal, and death can occur within two days.

Food Safety Myths Exposed

We all do our best to serve our families food that’s safe and healthy, but some common myths about food safety might surprise you.

Common myths about food safety at home

Myth #1: Food poisoning isn’t that big of a deal. I just have to tough it out for a day or two and then it’s over.
Fact: Many people don’t know it, but some foodborne illnesses can actually lead to long-term health conditions, and 3,000 Americans a year die from foodborne illness. Get the facts on long-term effects of food poisoning.
Myth #2: It’s OK to thaw meat on the counter. Since it starts out frozen, bacteria isn’t really a problem.
Fact: Actually, bacteria grow surprisingly rapidly at room temperatures, so the counter is never a place you should thaw foods. Instead, thaw foods the right way.
Myth #3: When cleaning my kitchen, the more bleach I use, the better. More bleach kills more bacteria, so it’s safer for my family.
Fact: There is actually no advantage to using more bleach than needed. To clean kitchen surfaces effectively, use just one teaspoon of liquid, unscented bleach to one quart of water. 
Myth #4: I don’t need to wash fruits or vegetables if I’m going to peel them.
Fact: Because it’s easy to transfer bacteria from the peel or rind you’re cutting to the inside of your fruits and veggies, it’s important to wash all produce, even if you plan to peel it.
Myth #5: To get rid of any bacteria on my meat, poultry, or seafood, I should rinse off the juices with water first.
Fact: Actually, rinsing meat, poultry, or seafood with water can increase your chance of food poisoning by splashing juices (and any bacteria they might contain) onto your sink and counters. The best way to cook meat, poultry, or seafood safely is to make sure you cook it to the right temperature.
Myth #6: The only reason to let food sit after it’s been microwaved is to make sure you don’t burn yourself on food that’s too hot.
Fact: In fact, letting microwaved food sit for a few minutes (“standing time”) helps your food cook more completely by allowing colder areas of food time to absorb heat from hotter areas of food. 
Myth #7: Leftovers are safe to eat until they smell bad.
Fact: The kinds of bacteria that cause food poisoning do not affect the look, smell, or taste of food. To be safe, use our Safe Storage Times chart to make sure you know the right time to throw food out.
Myth #8: Once food has been cooked, all the bacteria have been killed, so I don’t need to worry once it’s “done.”
Fact: Actually, the possibility of bacterial growth actually increases after cooking, because the drop in temperature allows bacteria to thrive. This is why keeping cooked food warmed to the right temperature is critical for food safety.
Myth #9: Marinades are acidic, which kills bacteria—so it’s OK to marinate foods on the counter.
Fact: Even in the presence of acidic marinade, bacteria can grow very rapidly at room temperatures. To marinate foods safely, it’s important to marinate them in the refrigerator.
Myth #10: If I really want my produce to be safe, I should wash fruits and veggies with soap or detergent before I use them.
Fact: In fact, it’s best not to use soaps or detergents on produce, since these products can linger on foods and are not safe for consumption. Using clean running water is actually the best way to remove bacteria and wash produce safely.

Dangerous Food Safety Mistakes

Sometimes a simple mistake can have grave consequences. What may seem like a small food safety mistake can cause serious illness with long-term consequences.
When it comes to some germs, such as Salmonella, all it takes is 15 to 20 cells in undercooked food to cause food poisoning. And just a tiny taste of food with botulism toxin can cause paralysis and even death.
Here are some common food safety mistakes that have been proven to cause serious illness.

Mistake #1: Tasting food to see if it’s still good

Why: You can’t taste (or smell or see) the bacteria that cause food poisoning. Tasting only a tiny amount can cause serious illness. 
Solution: Throw food out before harmful bacteria grows. Check the Safe Storage Times chart to be sure.

Mistake #2: Putting cooked meat back on a plate that held raw meat

Why: Germs from the raw meat can spread to the cooked meat.
Solution: Always use separate plates for raw meat and cooked meat. The same rule applies to poultry and seafood.

Mistake #3: Thawing food on the counter

Why: Harmful germs can multiply extremely rapidly at room temperature. 
Solution: Thaw food safely
    • In the refrigerator
    • In cold water
    • In the microwave

Mistake #4: Washing meat or poultry

Why: Washing raw meat or poultry can spread bacteria to your sink, countertops, and other surfaces in your kitchen. 
Solution: Don’t wash meat, poultry, or eggs.

Mistake #5: Letting food cool before putting it in the fridge

Why: Illness-causing bacteria can grow in perishable foods within two hours unless you refrigerate them
Solution: Refrigerate perishable foods within 2 hours (or within 1 hour if the temperature is over 90˚F.

Mistake #6: Eating raw cookie dough (or other foods with uncooked eggs)

Why: Uncooked eggs may contain Salmonella or other harmful bacteria. 
Solution: Always cook eggs thoroughly. Avoid foods that contain raw or undercooked eggs.

Mistake #7: Marinating meat or seafood on the counter

Why: Harmful germs in meat or seafood can multiply extremely rapidly at room temperature. 
Solution: Always marinate meat or seafood in the refrigerator.

Mistake #8: Using raw meat marinade on cooked food

Why: Germs from the raw meat (or seafood) can spread to the cooked food. 
Solution: You can reuse marinade only if you bring it to a boil just before using.

Mistake #9: Undercooking meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs

Why: Cooked food is safe only after it’s been cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria 
Solution: Use the Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures chart and a food thermometer.

Mistake #10: Not washing your hands

Why: Germs on your hands can contaminate the food that you or others eat. 
Solution: Wash hands the right way—for 20 seconds with soap and running water.

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