Have summer fun without salmonella
Don’t invite Sam and Ella (you know, Salmonella?!) to your summer events!
Are you aware that illnesses from Salmonella spike in the summer? And that the overwhelming majority of hospitalization from Salmonellosis occur in children under 5 years of age? Children under 4 are 4.5 times more likely to get bacterial infections from food compared to adults.
Be ready this summer to take action and reduce the risk of infection in your family! Four quick tips to remember:
1. Don’t rinse chicken. We used to think that this was a good practice. But it only spreads germs around the kitchen and isn’t a food safety step.
2. Cook chicken to 165 degrees F – always use a food thermometer to check.
3. Wash your hands before all meal preparation – be among the 35 percent of food preparers who do! Sad but true that 65 prcent in studies do not wash hands before preparing foods.
4. Always use soap for effective hand washing.
Salmonella is common and can be found in many types of foods such as undercooked eggs, poultry and meat, raw produce and unpasteurized milk or other dairy products. Symptoms include abdominal cramps and tenderness, fever and diarrhea.
Whether your picnic spot is a roadside table, a city park or your backyard, eating outside creates special memories for kids. Picnic picks include easy to eat foods and water or natural fruit juices, which are better thirst quenchers than soda pop.
Fill re-sealable plastic bags with ice cubes to keep food cold. Use the cubes to keep drinks cool; then water the grass with the leftovers to lighten the load for the trip home. A big blanket or sheet is great for covering a picnic table or sitting on the grass. Trash bags are a good idea so you can “pack it in and pack it out.” You might need insect repellant and sunscreen.
Patricia Steiner is a nutrition and health specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Mediapolis and serves Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Lee, Louisa and Van Buren counties.