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Old 05-29-2007, 08:57 AM   #1
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Keep Food Safety In Mind For Summer Picnicking and Camping

Keep Food Safety In Mind For Summer Picnicking and Camping

Memorial Day signals the start of the summer picnicking and camping season and a health official reminds South Dakotans to remember safe food handling practices.

Cooking and eating outdoors can mean a breakdown in normal household food safety precautions which can result in bacterial food borne illness, commonly referred to as food poisoning.

"Nothing will spoil a camping trip, picnic or a family reunion like a bubbly-crampy belly and diarrhea," said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, State Epidemiologist for the Department of Health. "The best way to protect yourself, your family and friends from food borne illness on summer outings is with safe food handling practices."

Dr. Kightlinger said the major bacterial food borne illnesses reported in South Dakota are Campylobacter, Salmonella and E. coli. In 2006 there were more than 400 of these disease cases reported in South Dakota residents and these represent the tip of the iceberg.

Although these diseases can be transmitted by food, they can also be spread directly by farm animals and their manure. South Dakota has especially high rates of these diseases when compared to the rest of the country.

Another common, but grossly underreported illness is "staph food poisoning" which is caused by the toxins of the common Staphylococcus aureus.

The department recommends the following precautions when preparing, storing, and cooking food for picnics, barbecues, boating lunches and campouts.

Transporting Food

* Keep cold food cold, at or below 40F. Place in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Consider packing beverages in one cooler and perishable food in another.

* Pack meat, poultry, and seafood while still frozen so that it stays cold longer. Be sure to keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood securely wrapped so their juices don't contaminate cooked foods or foods eaten raw, such as fruits and vegetables.

* Keep the cooler in the air-conditioned passenger compartment of your car, not in the hot trunk. Limit the times the cooler is opened.

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Old 05-29-2007, 09:48 AM   #2
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Good post. Brings back a funny memory. A bunch of us old HighSchool buds had gathered at a friends house. The friend who's place we were at was doing the smoking and came out of the house with a platter of chicken, dogs, and burgers. Well he slaps the food on the grill and proceeds to smokin the meat. After about 2 hours or so everything is ready. Well my bud reaches for the same platter that the raw meat was on and was about to place the cooked meat on it . Don't know how many cold beverages I had in me but even I knew that was wrong, WAY wrong. Needless to say about 4 of us stopped him from poisoning us and went and got a clean platter. I think we were all pleased that over the next few days we didn't have it coming outa both ends . I think he learned his lesson after that..............

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