Prevent Foodborne Illness as Summer Draws to a Close

foodborne illness

The Federal government estimates about 1 in 6 Americans get sick with a foodborne illness, each year. This results in 48 million annual cases of foodborne illness (FDA, 01/07/16).

Food becomes prone to contaminants from behaviors that easily get overlooked, including a change in temperature and cross-contamination. Salmonella illness in particular is more common in the summer. Warmer temperatures and eating non-refrigerated food outdoors causes food to be prone to bacteria and Salmonella growth (CDC, 07/8/16).

Protect yourself and others from potential foodborne illness at barbeques and picnics by paying closer attention to how you handle and cook your food.

Grilling Safety
• Cook food thoroughly. Use a meat thermometer to make sure food reaches a proper internal temperature
• Do not let food sit on the grill in a partially cooked state. If foods need to be partially cooked before grilling, do so right before adding them to the grill
• Keep meats and food at 145°F or above after cooking
• Refrigerate or freeze leftovers, perishables, and other prepared foods within 2 hours (or 1 hour if it is at 90°F or above)

Appropriate internal temperatures for food:
• Beef, pork, lamb, veal steaks or roasts: 145° F
• Fish: 145° F
• Ground pork or beef: 160° F
• Poultry (breasts or whole poultry): 165° F
• Casseroles: 165° F

The Danger Zone
The danger zone for food is 40°F – 140°F. Food that stays within this temperature range for too long is at risk for bacteria growth.

Sanitation
• Wash hands before eating and preparing food
• Rinse fruit and vegetables and scrub items with firm skins
• Keep all eating surfaces, serving platters, and utensils clean
• Avoid cross-contamination. Never put cooked food on a surface that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
• Wrap raw meats securely
• Never reuse marinades

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a variety of safety documents related to foodborne illness and food safety including: Foodborne Illness – Buffets and Potlucks, Eating Outdoors, and Packing a Safe Lunch. A policy is also available for employees and employers who work in the food industry about Food Safety Program Requirements.

Prevent Infection in the Workplace

bloodborne pathogens

Protection against potentially infectious materials is an important part of workplace safety. During normal activities, most of us are occasionally exposed to the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (staph) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/mrsa/). Infection and illness can occur without the proper hygiene.

Staph and MRSA
• Staph is a bacteria commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of 25% – 30% of healthy people.
• MRSA encompasses types of staph that are resistant to certain antibiotics. They are present on or in about 1% of healthy people.
• Unless staph enters the body through a cut or other wound, it is generally harmless.
• Staph and MRSA infections frequently occur among people in hospitals and healthcare facilities but can also occur in schools, libraries, stores, daycare centers, and private companies.

Safeguards
• Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Do not share personal items like uniforms, personal protective equipment (PPE), clothing, and towels.
• Establish cleaning procedures for frequently touched surfaces.
• Keep cuts and scrapes clean and bandaged until healed.

Symptoms and Treatment
• A minor staph or MSRA infection may look like a pimple or boil and can be red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage.
• Serious infections may cause headaches, fever, pneumonia, and potentially life-threatening infections in the bloodstream or surgical wounds.
• Many staph skin infections can be treated by draining the abscess or boil and will not require antibiotics.
• Treatment can sometimes require antibiotics as prescribed by a trained healthcare provider.
• If you might have a skin infection, consult a healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a newly updated Bloodborne Pathogens online training with the most current standard precautions to follow in the workplace. New posters and toolbox talks are available to use as informational aids on topics of: sharp container safety, common viruses, bloodborne pathogens and staph/MRSA precautions.