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Avoid Food Poisoning Around the Campfire this Summer

Posted on in Food Poisoning
Avoid Food Poisoning Around the Campfire this Summer

The midst of summer is upon us and during this time of year, many Illinois residents and families choose to enjoy the long, hot days and nights outside, gathered around campfires and backyard fire pits. Often, these outdoor fires are used to cook hot dogs, shish kabobs, and other foods like marshmallows for s'mores. Sitting around the campfire eating a freshly charred dinner is a great way to make warm summer memories with family and friends.

It can also be a great way to contract dangerous bacteria if you are not careful. Processed meats like hot dogs and summer sausages can harbor Listeria among other types of dangerous bacteria. Chicken, which you might eat on a skewer with peppers and onions cooked over the fire, can harbor Salmonella, and the fresh side salad can also be home to bacteria that can cause you to suffer from food poisoning. With this information in mind, make smart choices about food safety this summer to reduce your chance of suffering from food poisoning.

Store all Foods Properly

The “danger zone” refers to the range of temperatures from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. In this range, bacteria can grow, putting you at risk of becoming ill. Keep perishable food items stored in a cooler that keeps them below this temperature range.

Cook all Meats Thoroughly

When it is time to cook the food, cook meats to an internal temperature of 140 degrees or higher to kill any bacteria that might have been within them. Bring a meat thermometer to test all meat's internal temperature before eating it.

Pay Attention to Outbreaks in the News

By being aware of the food poisoning outbreaks in your area, you can avoid certain products to protect yourself and your family. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website lists food poisoning outbreaks throughout the United States as they occur.

Be Aware of the Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Depending on the type of bacteria consumed, food poisoning symptoms can appear within a few hours or a few days of eating the affected food product. The symptoms can vary between bacteria types, but generally, individuals suffering from food poisoning experience the following:

  • Nausea;
  • Cramping;
  • Abdominal discomfort;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Fatigue;
  • Vomiting; and
  • Fever.

Generally, these symptoms subside on their own within a few days, but they can lead to complications that require medical attention, especially in young children, the elderly, and pregnant women.

Work with a Zion Food Poisoning Attorney

Even if you take the proper precautions to avoid food poisoning, there is still the possibility that you or your child can suffer from food poisoning after consuming contaminated food products at a public event or a summer camp. In the event you become ill as a result of another party's negligence, consider working with an experienced food poisoning attorney to file and pursue a personal injury claim. Contact our team at Newland & Newland, LLP today to set up your initial legal consultation with us. We serve clients in the North Chicago, Fox Lake, Zion, Winthrop Harbor, Waukegan areas from out our office located in the prestigious 180 North LaSalle street building in Chicago.

(photo courtesy of Jan Fidler)

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