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DHSS Press Release



Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@state.de.us

Date: September 18, 2014
DHSS-9-2014





UNDERSTANDING FOODBORNE ILLNESS SEPTEMBER IS FOOD SAFETY EDUCATION MONTH


DOVER (September 18, 2014) - Foodborne illness sickens over hundreds of Delawareans each year and can even be fatal in patients with weakened immune systems, underlying conditions or the very young. Food is contaminated when it comes into contact with bacteria and other microorganisms. Bacteria could be almost anywhere and are impossible to see. The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) reminds Delawareans that September is Food Safety Education Month and that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Types and symptoms of foodborne illnesses:

DISEASE ORGANISM SYMPTOMS SOURCE
Campylobacter Bloody or watery diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, nausea, headache, muscle pain. Unpasteurized dairy products.
Clostridium botulinum Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea. Improperly canned foods, garlic-in-oil mixtures, baked potatoes.
Cryptosporidium Watery diarrhea, low fever, abdominal pain. Raw produce, chicken salad, green onions, raw milk, unpasteurized apple cider.
E. coli, Shiga toxin Severe abdominal pain, watery or bloody diarrhea, vomiting, low fever. Raw meat, unpasteurized dairy and juice, apple cider .
Listeria Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, meningitis. Deli meat, hot dogs, sprouts, queso fresco and other soft cheeses, unpasteurized dairy.
Salmonella Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, headache. Linked to poultry, eggs, ground meat, fruits and vegetables.
Shigella Abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, vomiting, blood or mucus in stool. Contaminated produce, water, poor hand hygiene.
Staphylococcus enterotoxin Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, muscle cramping. Meats, poultry, salads made with mayonnaise, cream fillings, dairy.
Vibrio/cholera Watery, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, low fever. Raw or undercooked shellfish.

The best way to avoid such misery is to know how to prevent foodborne illness. Some simple tips could save your stomach:

Cook meat to safe minimal temperatures:

Whole poultry 165 F
Poultry breasts 165 F
Ground poultry 165 F
Hamburgers, beef 160 F
All cuts of pork 160 F
Fresh beef, veal, lamb (roasts, steaks, chops) 145 F medium rare.

Cooks should get into the habit of checking the internal temperature of food, especially meat, poultry and egg dishes. Using a food thermometer is the only sure way of knowing if food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy foodborne bacteria.

For more information on food safety, go to www.foodsafety.gov/ or www.dhss.delaware.gov/dph/hsp/foodsafety.html

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.



Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.





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