Elizabeth S. Reames | 9/21/2005 1:43:24 AM
Each year, millions of illnesses can be traced to foodborne bacteria. LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames says that figure can drop if people follow recommendations during September Food Safety Education Month.
This year’s theme is "Keep Hands Clean with Good Hygiene." Reames offers several ways to fight bacteria.
• Wash hands in hot, soapy water before preparing food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers and handling pets. For best results, use warm water to moisten hands and then apply soap and rub hands together for 20 seconds before rinsing thoroughly.
• Wash cutting boards, knives, utensils and counter tops in hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before going on to the next one.
• Use plastic or other non-porous cutting boards. Cutting boards should be run through the dishwasher - or washed in hot soapy water - after use.
• Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If using cloth towels, wash them often in the hot cycle of the washing machine.
Although the likelihood of serious complications is unknown, the Food and Drug Administration estimates that 2 percent to 3 percent of all foodborne illnesses lead to secondary long-term illnesses. For example, certain strains of E.coli can cause kidney failure in young children and infants, Salmonella can lead to reactive arthritis and serious infections, Listeria can cause meningitis and stillbirths and Campylobacter may be the most common precipitating factor for Guillain-Barre syndrome.
National Food Safety Education Month is sponsored by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. This annual campaign strives to build awareness of the restaurant and foodservice industry’s commitment to serving safe food, heighten awareness about the importance of food safety education and encourage additional food safety training for all industry employees.
For information on related family and consumer topics, click on the Family and Home link on the LSU AgCenter homepage, at www.lsuagcenter.com.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture