Scripps Howard News Service suggests the following tips for guarding against foodborne diseases:
– Think “YOPI.” Food scientists say consumers who are young, old, pregnant or with suppressed immune systems from using prescription drugs or from diseases like diabetes are less likely to have natural defenses to fight foodborne diseases. Because of the risk of listeria, anyone in the class of YOPIs should reheat all deli meats before eating them.
– Surveys show that 72 percent of consumers agree with the phrase “pasteurized juice will have less risk of pathogens.” But barely more than half agree that “unpasteurized juice may have more risk of pathogens.” There are more pathogens in unpasteurized products.
– People with alcoholism-related conditions or suffering from liver disease should stop eating unpasteurized shellfish and pick only the pasteurized or cooked oysters and clams.
– Avoid eating raw egg products, and don’t give the cake-batter bowl to your children to lick.
– To minimize the risk of foodborne diseases, anyone handling produce or meat should follow the government’s “Fight BAC” recommendations. They are:
1. Clean – Wash hands and surfaces, and rinse fresh produce.
2. Separate – Keep meat, seafood and poultry separate from other foods.
3. Cook – Use a thermometer to ensure food is fully cooked. Roasts and steaks should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, ground meat and hamburger to 160 degrees, and poultry to 180 degrees.
4. Chill – Store foods at below 40 degrees.