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Protecting Yourself from Food Borne Illnesses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in six Americans becomes sick from food-borne illnesses every year. These food-borne illnesses are typically caused by bacteria and viruses, but they may also be caused by a parasite or harmful chemicals. Foodborne illness, or food poisoning as it is more commonly known, is a very painful and unpleasant experience that often includes an upset stomach, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration. Most food-borne illnesses don’t last a very long time but can turn serious if they become severely dehydrated.

Although it might seem like you’ll only get food-borne illnesses because you happened to be one of the unlucky ones who ate at a bad restaurant, this couldn’t be further from the truth. While restaurants should certainly be held accountable for serving people tainted food, you can be just as likely to contract a food-borne illness at home.

Here are a few ways you can protect yourself from a food-borne illness.

How to Prevent Food Poisoning at Home

To prevent food-borne illnesses at home, you should pay careful attention both to when you’re preparing the food as well as when you’re shopping for your food. For example, you should never buy food in packages or cans that are damaged. Also, when purchasing raw meat or fish, use the plastic bags that are provided in the store and put it in a separate shopping bag from all other food. This will prevent any liquids that could contain bacteria like E. coli or salmonella from the packaged meat from spilling over on your other grocery items.

When you’re prepping food at home, be sure to wash your hands before and all throughout when you’re cooking. If you’re cooking raw meat, wash your hands thoroughly before you touch any other part of the meal so that you don’t spread bacteria. Always wash and dry fruits and vegetables thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel to remove any dirt and bacteria that are lingering.

In addition, you should also refrigerate leftovers promptly to prevent breeding bacteria in the food. A good rule of thumb is to put them in the fridge within two hours or one hour if the outside temperature is 90 degrees or higher.

How to Prevent Food Poisoning at a Restaurant

Unfortunately, when you’re eating at a restaurant, you’re at the mercy of the chefs and staff to ensure that there will be no harmful bacteria in your food. However, an effective way to protect yourself is through observation. Are there a lot of people in the restaurant, or is it completely empty when all the restaurants nearby are hopping?

You can also lookup a restaurant’s health rating online if you want to be extra cautious.

Have you contracted a food-borne illness in Georgia that was due to the negligence of someone else? You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills. Call the Fry Legal team today at 404-969-1284.

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