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Tips to Prevent Foodborne Illnesses

By Kelly Balamuth on June 15, 2011

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), foodborne illnesses account for 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. While it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of contamination, in some cases it can be directly attributed to the negligence of the farmers, manufacturers and food handlers who are charged with providing safe products to the public. Food can become contaminated from tainted water used to irrigate or wash produce as it is picked. Pathogens can also be picked up from untreated manure used to fertilize crops. During manufacturing, dirty equipment and unsafe storage practices can lead to bacteria and viruses infecting the product. Foods can also become contaminated at restaurants due to unsafe food handling practices.

What can you do to reduce your risk of ingesting these harmful pathogens? The CDC recommends that you first avoid accidentally contaminating food yourself by washing your hands with soap and water before preparing food, especially after using the bathroom or changing a diaper. Also, wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with running tap water. Do not cross-contaminate foods by re-using utensils, cutting boards and plates for other foods after they have come in contact with raw meat or poultry. Always cook meat until it reaches an internal temperature of 145-165 degrees, depending on the type of meat. At restaurants, order your meat well-done and your eggs with firm yolks. Be sure to refrigerate leftovers within four hours as bacteria grow quickly at room temperature.

Food poisoning can be fatal in some instances, especially for infants, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems. If you or loved one has suffered a foodborne illness due to a contaminated food product, contact the Orinda dangerous products attorneys at Balamuth Harrington. Our skilled attorneys can help you receive compensation while remaining sensitive to your needs at such a difficult time. For more information call Balamuth Harrington at 888-254-1234.

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