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Avoiding Food Poisoning with Outdoor Meals in the Summer

Photo: Woman in a grocery store holding a basket of groceriesHow to Prevent Food Poisoning This Summer

According to research, more than 300,000 people seek medical care for food poisoning every year, with most of them going to the hospital during summer months. Officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture say that the culprit is often a meat product, mayo, dairy or eggs that have been sitting on a picnic table or the trunk of a car for hours. They say that, under the right circumstances, those foods can grow bacteria that will make you pretty sick in just a couple hours.

If you have a mild case of food poisoning, where you have an upset stomach, minor vomiting or diarrhea, you can probably avoid a trip to urgent care. You’ll want to take in a lot of liquids, and stay away from solid foods until your nausea and/or vomiting have subsided. After that, you should probably stick to extremely bland foods, like toast or crackers, until all or most of your symptoms are gone. If you can’t shake your discomfort after a couple days (less time with small children), go to urgent care.

Tips for Avoiding Food Poisoning During the Summer

The most important thing you want to do is keep your food cold until you cook it. It’s best to have a large cooler with plenty of ice. Any items that are especially susceptible to bacterial contamination—eggs, dairy, meat and mayonnaise—should be packed under the ice. Always put your food in in reverse order. Pack those items last that you intend to eat first.

You should also separate any foods that might produce bacteria. Wrap meats and dairy products in individually.

Make certain that you cook everything thoroughly. It’s more difficult to manage cooking times and temperatures on a grill, so it might not be a bad idea to bring a meat thermometer with you.

Finally, whenever you are preparing foods, make certain your hands are clean.

Come to Hillcrest Medical

The best place for urgent care is the Dallas area is Hillcrest Medical. Many of our patients also choose to make our doctor their primary care physician. Come and check out our facility and meet our doctor and staff. We’re here to help you now, and we’re here for all your future urgent care needs.

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