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What Is Food Borne Illness?

Posted by | March 30, 2011

What is a foodborne illness? The next time you experience symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever, you may want to consider a foodborne illness as the culprit. While these relatively mild symptoms may seem like the 24 hour stomach flu, some foodborne illnesses can be very serious, even causing death.

Most foodborne illness is caused when food is contaminated with bacteria or viruses. When conditions are rights, bacteria can grow and multiply.

While it’s easy to blame foodservice establishments for foodborne illness, millions of people become ill each year as a result of handling food at home improperly. Most foodborne illness is caused by time-temperature abuse, cross contamination, and poor personal hygiene. You can prevent illness at home by:

  • Keeping cold food cold – 40 degrees or below
  • Keeping hot foods hot – 140 degree or more
  • Reheating leftovers to 165 degrees
  • Cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces, and
  • Washing your hands frequently