2003-05-22 / Top Stories

Health Dept. Issue Warm Weather Food Safety Tips

Health Dept. Issue Warm Weather Food Safety Tips

Health Dept. Issue Warm Weather Food Safety Tips

With Memorial Day approaching and summer just around the corner, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) this week reminded New Yorkers of safe and proper food preparation techniques for the Memorial Day weekend and upcoming summer months.

DOHMH Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, said, "Barbeques and picnics are lots of fun during the summer season. To stay healthy, follow simple steps when preparing food, both indoors or outdoors, can prevent foodborne illness."

There are many different types and causes of foodborne illness; symptoms may include fever, nausea, and diarrhea. While usually mild, some foodborne illneses can be more serious and even life threatening.

DOHMH recommendations for safe food preparation:

•Grill and cook all types and forms of meat and poultry until well done. Juices should be clear, and cooked meat should be brown throughout.

•Keep raw meat and poultry, as well as their drippings, from coming into contact with other foods to avoid contamination by bacteria from uncooked meat and poultry.

•Keep raw meat, poultry or products containing raw eggs at or below 41° until ready to cook.

•Keep products containing mayonnaise at or below 41° until ready to eat.

•Keep raw meat and poultry, as well as their drippings, from coming into contact with other foods to avoid contamination by bacteria from uncooked meat and poultry.

•Thoroughly wash kitchen surfaces, cutting boards, and utensils with hot, soapy water after preparing raw meat and poultry.

•Thoroughly wash hands with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry.

•Keep packages of frozen meat or poultry frozen until ready for use. Thaw meats in the refrigerator or microwave – not on kitchen counters or other surfaces.

DOHMH’S Poison Control Center is available 24/7 to provide immediate help and advice in medical emergencies, including foodborne illness symptoms. The Poison Control Center hotline numbers are (212) POISONS (764-7667) or 3-1-1, (212) VENENOS (836-3667) for Spanish language speakers, and (212) 689-9014 for TDD users.

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