Stay Healthy While Celebrating

As you plan for your Fourth of July picnics and gatherings, the Cascade City-County Health Department (CCHD) reminds you to put food safety on your checklist.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die of food-borne diseases. Food-borne illnesses can affect anyone; however, the young, the elderly and those who may have an underlying illness are most susceptible to food-borne illnesses. The good news is that there are ways you can keep yourself and your family safe during this year’s celebrations!

  • Clean-Wash hands, utensils and cutting boards before and after contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs.
  • Separate-Keep raw meat and poultry apart from foods that won’t be cooked, and never put cooked foods back on a plate that held raw meat.
  • Cook-Use a food thermometer-you can’t tell food is cooked safety by how it looks.
  • Chill-chill leftovers and takeout foods within 2 hours, and keep the fridge at 40F or below.

In addition to the clean, separate, cook and chill recommendations, individuals should also be aware of their hygiene when preparing food. Always wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food. Germs can be spread when individuals do non-food related tasks such as handle money, use the restroom, smoke, etc. If hands aren’t washed properly, any germs that may have been acquired during those activities can be transferred to the food and then consumed.

Remember that there are ways to ensure that the food you prepare will be safe as well as delicious. For more information or tips, please visit www.cchdmt.org or call 454-6950 and ask for an Environmental Health Sanitarian.