By Ken Buben, President, FancyScrubs.com
More Americans have had food poisoning this past year according to the CDC with e-coli driving up the cases. The CDC estimates 50 million Americans get food poisoning each year with 3,000 who die from it.
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended young people, the elderly, pregnant women and those with immune system deficiencies avoid raw sprouts and cook them before consumption, AP reported.
According to the latest reports, the deadly illness has claimed the lives of at least 31 people and sickened nearly 3,100 across Europe. However, some US citizens, who had recently visited Germany, are among these patients.
“Sprouts are kind of famous in our playbook because they can be what we call a `stealth vehicle’ for food borne outbreaks – they are typically not served alone and people don’t recall that they’ve eaten sprouts,” said Christopher Braden of the CDC.
Sprouts grow in water in warm and humid conditions, which is also a suitable condition for the growth of bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella.
Symptoms of salmonella may include:
If any of these above symptoms persist for over 24 hours please consult your doctor.
How to avoid salmonella?
The only effective way to kill salmonella bacteria is with heat. For this reason it is essential to cook food thoroughly.
- Poultry must always be thoroughly cooked or boiled.
- Minced meat must always be thoroughly cooked or boiled.
- Never crack a raw egg on a bowl containing other foods – use a knife to crack the shell.
- In most eggs, the salmonella bacteria exist only on the shell. Eggs should be scalded in boiling water for five seconds before use.
- Refrigerate perishable foods promptly after using.
- Clean surfaces thoroughly after cooking and handling food to avoid cross contamination
Visit the USDA guidelines fact sheet on salmonella here.