Typically, food poisoning is experienced as what we call the “stomach flu”; symptoms include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and usually pass within a day or two. More severe symptoms of food poisoning include fever and chills, dehydration, and bloody stools; these symptoms can require hospitalization in order to rehydrate the body with intravenous fluids. If you suspect you are suffering from food poisoning and aren’t feeling better within several days, contact your doctor to avoid complications.
If you are the holiday cook this year, here are a few reminders for protecting yourself and your loved ones from food poisoning:
1. Purchase fresh, quality products.
2. Store foods properly. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), meats and poultry should never be unrefrigerated more than 2 hours.
3. Prepare food with clean hands and surfaces.
4. Cook meat and poultry to safe minimum internal temperatures:
- 145°F degrees F for beef, veal and lamb steaks, roasts and chops.
- 160°F for pork, ground beef, veal and lamb to 160 °F.
- 165 °F for poultry.
5. Avoid consuming uncooked eggs in batters (boo, hiss…I know).