Foodborne Illness

Everyone is at risk for getting a foodborne illness. However, some people are at greater risk for experiencing a more serious illness or even death should they get a foodborne illness.E Coli Crime Scene

Those at greater risk are infants, young children, pregnant women and their unborn babies, older adults, and people who are in an "at risk" group (such as those with HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and transplant patients).

Some people may become ill after ingesting only a few harmful bacteria; others may remain symptom free after ingesting thousands.

 In case of suspected foodborne illness: 

  1. Preserve the remaining portions of suspected foods if available: Wrap the food securely, mark “Do not use” and freeze it. The Health Department will be in contact if testing for specimen is needed.
  2. Seek treatment as necessary: If the ill person is in an “at risk” group,
  3. Seek medical care immediately. Likewise, if symptoms persist or are severe (such as bloody diarrhea, excessive nausea and vomiting, or high temperature), call your doctor.
  4. Report: Call the Local Public Health Department or the Department of Health & Human Services Office of Epidemiology to report the illness (402-471-2937).
What can consumers do to protect themselves from
foodborne illness? 
A few simple precautions can reduce the risk of foodborne diseases: 
COOK: Cook meat, poultry and eggs thoroughly. Using a thermometer
to measure the internal temperature of meat is a good way to be sure that it is cooked sufficiently to kill bacteria.  Learn More.
SEPARATE: Avoid cross-contaminating foods by washing hands,
utensils, and cutting boards after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry and before they touch another food. Put cooked meat
on a clean platter, rather back on one that held the raw meat.
CHILL: Refrigerate leftovers promptly. Bacteria can grow quickly at
room temperature, so refrigerate leftover foods if they are not going to be eaten within 4 hours. Large volumes of food will cool more quickly if they are divided into several shallow containers for refrigeration.
CLEAN: Wash produce. Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food. Avoid preparing food for others if you yourself have a diarrheal illness.
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