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How To Avoid "Hamburger Disease"

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) - According to Health Canada, common symptoms of foodborne illness include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever, sometimes blood or pus in the stools, headache, vomiting, and severe exhaustion. Symptoms will vary according to the type of bacteria and by the amount of contaminants eaten. Symptoms may start as early as 30 minutes after eating the contaminated food or may not develop for several days or weeks. Symptoms usually last only a day or two, but can, in some cases, persist for a week to 10 days. For most healthy people, foodborne illnesses are neither long lasting nor life threatening. However for seniors, young children and people with weakened immune systems foodborne illnesses can be very serious.

A common source of food poisoning is undercooked ground beef. What can I do to avoid "hamburger disease"?

  • After you've handled or cut raw meat, wash your hands, the cutting board, counter, knives, and any other utensils you've used with hot soapy water before you use them again to prepare any other food.

  • Thoroughly cook all ground beef to 71 C (160 F). Use an instant-read food thermometer to test in the middle of the burger or loaf.

  • Cover and store leftover cooked food in the refrigerator as soon as possible.

  • Reheat all leftovers until they are steaming hot.

  • Follow label instructions on products regarding handling practices.

  • Keep the inside of your refrigerator and counter tops clean.

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