Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cancer

Can I drink alcohol on my diet?

Chitosan - A Pill that Absorbs Fat?

Cholesterol - Eat more fat to lower?

Coffee! Should You or Shouldn't You?


Ephedra - Warning

EZ Zucchini

Fat Snack

Fats - Mono, Poly, Saturated

Food Poisoning

Food Labels that Fool You

Genetics and Obesity


Hunger - What is it?

I Ate too Much!

Olestra - The fat that's not a fat?



Salt - Something Nice

Sports Nutrition

Sun - Good Nutrition

Vegetable Soup Homemade

Vegetarian Eating

Vegetarians are Healthier?

Winners and Losers on Your Plate

Don't let food poisoning
spoil your summer outing!

Light up the grill! Get out the picnic table! Summer has arrived! Many of us who live in four-season climates look forward to outdoor activities during the warmer time of year - cook-outs with friends and family, community activities, and other outdoor events. But it's also the time of year when many of us will be afflicted with food poisoning!

Over one million cases of foodborne illness, or food poisoning, will develop this year! Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, chills, and fever. Symptoms can begin within 12 to 24 hours after eating the tainted food and can last anywhere from one day to one week. Because a viral illness produces the same symptoms, you may not realize you've been poisoned by something you ate.

How can you tell if a food is contaminated? Unfortunately you can't. Bacteria that cause foodborne illness can't be seen and have no taste or smell. That's why it's so important to apply preventive techniques and take precautions beforehand to keep food safe.

The most common types of bacteria that cause foodborne illness are Staphylococcus, Clostridium, Salmonella, E-coli, and Listeria.

Staphylococcus, or Staph for short, is most commonly found in custards, cream filled desserts, salads, meat, and starchy foods like potato salad. Freezing food before serving to help keep it cold is a good idea, but be aware that freezing foods that contain Staph don't kill the toxins produced by the bacteria. Contrary to accepted belief, mayonnaise, which contains vinegar, actually helps prevent bacterial growth. Because vinegar has a low pH, it creates an acidic environment that effectively retards the growth of Staph as well as other kinds of bacteria.

Clostridium botulinum, which cause Botulism, live in an anaerobic environment, meaning little to no oxygen, and can be found in canned foods. These bacteria produce spores that are highly toxic. Symptoms include nervous system dysfunction and death. Never use canned products that have been dented at the seam.

Salmonella and Listeria are found in raw meat, poultry, cracked eggs, dairy products, and shellfish. Seafood can contain Yersinia which cause Plague, V. cholerae which cause Cholera, and viruses that cause Hepatitis. E-coli are found in foods contaminated with feces such as meat and seafood. Since E-coli live in the intestinal tract, symptoms include diarrhea, dehydration, and death in severe cases.

Parasites and Protozoa are found in raw, uncooked foods. Once ingested, they live in your intestinal tract, so symptoms may not show up for weeks. Roundworms, found in pork and sausage, cause Trichinosis, a painful disease. These microscopic worms, called Trichinella, migrate to muscle tissue and the heart and can cause death.

Molds live predominantly on fruit, vegetables, cheese, and breads but do not produce toxins that lead to food poisoning. Simply remove the part of the food that's moldy, discard it, and the remainder of the food can be eaten safely.

Red tide is caused by organisms that appear in great numbers along the waters edge and are eaten by shellfish. Cooking will not destroy these organisms. If ingested, symptoms include facial numbness, paralysis, and difficulty breathing.

Some tips to help prevent food poisoning:

  • Cook thoroughly meat, pork, seafood, poultry, eggs, and shellfish. Never eat these raw or partially cooked.
  • Never place cooked meat back on the same plate it was taken from when raw.
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold! Keep cold food at temperatures of 45 degrees or lower and hot food at 140 degrees or warmer.
  • Store cold foods on ice in a styrofoam container. Wrap hot foods in aluminum foil and store them in a separate container until they are ready to be served.
  • Never leave food at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Never place cold foods in the sun.
  • Always use clean bags for storing leftovers. Never use plastic bags or containers that have previously contained food.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling raw meat and before handling other foods.
  • Warn your children about the dangers of eating wild mushrooms, berries, and other kinds of plants. Never drink stream or lake water unless boiled first.
  • When carrying food in a picnic basket, eat it within two hours of placing the food in the basket. Include frozen ice bags to help keep cold food cold. Store hot foods in a thermos bottle.

-On a hot day, drink liquids that contain no sugar. Like salt, sugar causes dehydration.

-Food additives help make food safe to eat by retarding the growth of microorganisms. Some common additives are BHT, BHA, nitrites, MSG, salt, sugar, phosphates, and vinegar.

-Barbequing meat over a grill using charcoal causes the formation of benzene compounds which are known cancer-causing substances.

-Freezer burn is found on meat stored in the freezer that has not been wrapped well. It appears white in color due to denaturing of the protein. Freezer burn is not poisonous or toxic. Remove the portion of meat that's burned, discard it, and use the remaining unaffected portion.

Where do you get your nutrition information? Most states now have licensure laws for Dietitians and Nutritionists. Be sure your nutrition advisor is "Licensed" by the State as a Licensed Dietitian (LD) or Licensed Nutritionist (LN), or in states that don't have licensure laws, a Registered Dietitian.




CarboH, Inc.
Barbara Herondorf, L.D.

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