How to Avoid Food Poisoning this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is that time of year where many people might overeat, and you may be more susceptible to food poisoning and other foodborne illnesses if you are not careful. Health insurance in California can be expensive, and you don’t want to compromise your policy by placing a claim over an illness that could have been avoided. You can prevent food poisoning this Thanksgiving with some simple safety steps.

Food Poisoning Symptoms

According to WebMD, food poisoning can result in the following symptoms:

  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Severe cases can result in abdominal pain or bloody stool. Depending on the severity of the infection, food poisoning can result in death if left untreated.

The most common source of food poisoning is pathogens stemming from red meats, poultry, or vegetables. The best way to avoid food poisoning is to wash all vegetables and ensure all meats and poultry are adequately cooked.

Wash Your Hands

Handwashing is an obvious first step when eating or cooking, and care should be taken to ensure that the process is completely hygienic. First, wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, and use a clean towel or cloth to dry them. Wash your hands frequently, especially after certain activities, such as using the bathroom, changing diapers, or cooking.

Adequate Preparation

You can use your health insurance policy if you come across an emergency, but prevention is key. The first step when cooking meat is to thaw properly. Thaw your food in the refrigerator instead of an open kitchen area at room temperature. Do not refreeze thawed food.

When cooking a ham or turkey, use a baking thermometer to ensure that the temperature is correct before consuming the meat. If you are unsure about the correct temperature, you can check the back of the instructions of a turkey or ham or ask a store representative where you bought the meat. Additionally, you can check the internet for a reputable source that offers cooking instructions including recommended oven temperatures, length of time, and internal meat temperatures.

Another way to avoid using your health insurance policy this holiday season is to separate meat and fixings to avoid cross-contamination. Cross-contamination occurs when raw meat juices or other contaminants make their way onto other objects or foods. This can also happen on cutting boards, which is why it is important to make sure that cutting boards are clean during the cooking process. Use one cutting board for preparing meats and a separate one for vegetables and other foods. Ensure that all kitchen surfaces and tables are clean during preparation. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a tablespoon of unscented bleach liquid for each gallon of water is sufficient for cleaning surfaces.

When Eating Dinner

When your plate is served, inspect the meat for rawness. Recook the meat if it is too pink, or send the food back if you are a guest. Never eat any food that smells or tastes unusual, and use another plate if the first one is dirty. When finished eating, store all food in the refrigerator in a sealed container.

What Type of Health Insurance Policy Do I Need?

For more information on health insurance in California, contact Cost-U-Less at 800-391-4071. Cost-U-Less will help find an affordable health insurance policy that suits your budget while providing adequate protection for you and your family. Cost-U-Less wishes you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving.