The holiday season is here again! With the hustle, bustle and the stress of the holidays, it can be quite tempting to cut corners to save time and make mistakes when it comes to food safety.
There is an abundance of food during the holidays. Most of us take part in family gatherings, office potlucks, holiday buffets and even food exchanges.
The odds of contracting a food-borne illness during the holidays are rather high.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year, about one in six Americans gets sick with a food-borne illness.
Holiday Food Safety Tips
There are several steps you can take to help avoid food-borne illnesses during the holidays:
- Keep it clean. Make sure you wash your hands as well as all food preparation surfaces such as chopping boards and counter tops.
- Separate raw meat, poultry, fish and their juices away from other food to prevent cross contamination. After cutting raw meats, wash everything with hot soapy water.
- Cook all food to proper temperatures using a food thermometer. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. If you’re having a party or potluck, discard any food left out at room temperature for more than two hours. When in doubt, throw it out.
- Do not prepare or handle food if you are feeling sick or have any type of infection or respiratory illness.
Recognizing the Symptoms
Most cases of food poisoning result in nausea, fever, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea. Once symptoms develop, they may last from several hours to two or three days. Infants, young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems are more likely to develop serious symptoms.
If you are experiencing similar symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away and get laboratory testing done so you can identify the type of infection you have contracted and receive prompt treatment.
Protecting Your Rights
If you have suffered food poisoning as a result of a contaminated food, it is important that you understand your legal rights and options. Make sure you get prompt medical attention. Report your illness to the local health agency.
Call an experienced California personal injury lawyer who can provide you with more information about pursuing your legal rights.