ThedaCare Health Matters By: P. Michael Shattuck, MD, Emergency Department phyisician
We are officially into the picnic and grilling season, and everyone loves a good cookout. Safe handling and cooking of food can help prevent food related illness. There are things you can do to avoid potential problems when handling food to decrease your chances of getting sick. Food poisoning is the common term used to describe the symptoms related to eating contaminated food resulting in illness, and food poisoning is common. The CDC reports 1 in 6 Americans will have a food-related illness per year. Many cases occur as a result of food being contaminated by a virus, which comes from someone who was carrying that virus and then handled the food. Frequent hand washing is a must for people who prepare food. People who are ill should avoid preparing food. Less commonly the food can be contaminated by bacteria where it is processed. Other food-related illnesses are caused by improper handling, storage, or cooking of food.