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Rutgers Experts offer tips for avoiding Foodborne Illness in Summer

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (Middlesex County) – Rutgers experts warn the chance of contracting food poisoning is heightened during the summer months as the temperature starts to rise. 

Executive and medical director of The New Jersey Poison Control Center, Diane Calello, explains that food poisoning peaks during the summertime because warm temperatures allow foodborne germs to multiply quickly.

“It’s important to remember the ‘danger zone’ as it pertains to food safety: The risk for food safety increases  between 40 degrees fahrenheit and 140 degrees fahrenheit,” Calello said. “The effects of food poisoning can happen between a few hours to a few days after ingestion. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea and fever.”

Calello goes on to explain that no one should prepare food if they have any kind of respiratory illness or infection, as it creates a risk for guests to become ill. 

Rutgers University experts explain that pantries, refrigerators and freezers should be checked periodically to make sure recalled foods linked to contamination are removed. Not only can meat and seafood products get contaminated but fresh fruits and vegetables as well. 

Here are some basic food safety tips and practices to follow when preparing, handling and storing foods: wash hands with soap and warm water before and after preparing food, wash fruits and vegetables and store them away from surfaces or utensils that were exposed to raw meat, when shopping make sure to pick up your meat, poultry or seafood right before you check out and keep these items separate from other items in your cart.

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By:Callie Wickkiser

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