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Health Education

Who Wants to Spend Any Summer Day Indoors? How to Stay Healthy in the Summer Months

Staying healthy in the summer months is absolutely essential to having a productive and full like during many people's favorite season.



March 6, 2017

Many of our favorite foods are consumed during the summer. Unfortunately, along with the good food and warm weather is an increase in the risk of foodborne illnesses. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 million persons get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne infection and illness in the United States each year.

Food safety is especially important for the elderly and patients with diabetes because their immune system and other organs are slower to respond in recognizing and ridding the body of harmful bacteria and other pathogens that cause infections, such as foodborne illness. Also, when the elderly or patients with diabetes to get food poisoning, they are more likely to have the illness longer, become hospitalized, and the condition can even be fatal.

Food poisoning cases increase in the summer months because bacteria on food growly rapidly in warm and humid weather and people are cooking in less controlled environments such as picnics and barbecues where food temperatures aren’t as controlled and hand-washing facilities are available.

Here are some tips for you to remember and for you to share with your patients:

  • Wash your hands – often and bring hand sanitizer with you if you don’t know if there will be clean water and soap where you’ll be eating.
  • Separate foods – don’t let uncooked meat or meat juice come in contact with ready to eat foods. Clean plates, preparation areas, utensils and knives, cutting boards and cooking after each use with a certain food.
  • Long and hot – cook food for long enough and at a high enough temperature to kill bacteria. A food thermometer is a great tool to use.
  • Chill & Refrigerate – perishable foods like lunch meats and potato salad need to be kept cold. If using a cooler, keep perishables under several inches of ice and use a separate cooler for drinks so as not to cool down the perishable cooler by opening it often.
  • Left out – many foods that are left out of the refrigeration for more than two will be unsafe to eat.For more information on food safety, please visit this USDA website link.


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