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Foodborne illnesses, also sometimes called food poisoning, occur when you eat something that is contaminated, usually with bacteria. This exposure can cause severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and in some cases, it can be deadly. Kids are especially vulnerable to foodborne illnesses and are more likely to have severe symptoms that require urgent care. You can greatly reduce the chances that your child will suffer from a foodborne illness with these prevention tips.

Avoid Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination in the kitchen is one of the biggest triggers of foodborne illnesses. You can avoid this by keeping raw food and cooked food separate and being sure to use different utensils and cutting boards for things like raw chicken and vegetables for your salad. Bacteria can linger for a long time on kitchen surfaces, so wash anything that has been potentially exposed to a contaminant thoroughly before introducing any other food. Wash your hands after handling raw meat or any other potential source of contamination.

Carefully Monitor Food Temperatures

When you are cooking meat, be sure to prepare it to a safe temperature so that any of the bacteria it contains is destroyed before you serve it. Avoid feed kids rare meat, as they are more vulnerable to the bacteria that the meat could contain. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold before serving them. Don’t eat any food that should be refrigerated if it has been at room temperature for longer than two hours, or longer than one hour if it is over 90 degrees.

Watch the Date

Foods that were once safe can develop dangerous bacteria when they spoil. Look at the dates on all perishable foods before serving them. If you can’t find a date on the item, play it safe and don’t eat it.

Pediatrics After Hours is here to provide urgent care for foodborne illnesses and all of the other aches and pains of childhood, when your little one’s pediatrician’s office is closed. When your child needs urgent care, we have four locations in the DFW area to serve you. For more information, call 972-355-2273.

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