Several holiday party hints given for avoiding food poisoning
SPRINGFIELD — Fancy dips, tempting hors d’oeuvres and delightful desserts are some of the culinary treats we see at holiday dinners, office parties or other celebrations. However, those get-togethers could result in foodborne illness if you are not careful.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year roughly one in six Americans (or 48 million people) get sick; 128,000 are hospitalized; and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. In Illinois, it is estimated that as many as 250,000 cases of foodborne illness may occur each year. However, because these illnesses can be mild and because the vast majority of them occur in the home, many go unreported.
“As a guest at holiday parties, there are a couple things you can watch out for to avoid foodborne illness. Hot foods should be hot, and cold foods cold. Bacteria will start to grow on food that should be served either cold or hot, that is sitting out for more than a couple hours at room temperature. You should also be cautious when eating certain foods, such as raw oysters, egg drinks, soft-boiled eggs, steak tartare and rare or medium hamburger. These foods can harbor bacteria that cause foodborne illness,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck.
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