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Holiday Guests May Be Vulnerable To Food Poisoning: Academy Of Nutrition And Dietetics Offers Food Safety Tips To Keep All Holiday Guests Happy And Healthy

CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Whether you're preparing a holiday dish or a holiday feast, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to practice safe food handling and keep in mind the needs of those who may be vulnerable to food poisoning.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131210/DC30947)

"While you should always practice safe food handling, some guests might be particularly vulnerable to food poisoning, such as older adults, pregnant women, young children and people with weakened immune systems," said Academy spokesperson Libby Mills. "This may also mean taking special precautions and keeping certain high-risk foods off the menu."

Celebrate a happy and healthy holiday season with a bit of preparation and tips from the Home Food Safety program – a collaboration between the Academy and ConAgra Foods.

Who is Vulnerable?

Food poisoning can affect anyone who eats food contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins or other substances, but certain groups of people are more susceptible to food poisoning and can be at far greater risk of developing serious illness with long-term effects or even death, including:

  • Infants and young children
  • Pregnant women and their unborn babies
  • Older adults
  • People with weakened immune systems and chronic illness, such as diabetes, kidney disease, those with HIV/AIDS and some cancer patients.

Food Safety Tips, Foods to Avoid

According to Mills, four simple steps may help significantly reduce your risk of food poisoning: 1) wash hands often; 2) separate ready-to-eat foods from raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs; 3) cook to proper temperatures; and 4) refrigerate promptly at 40°F or below.

Take special care during the holidays to ensure that vulnerable guests avoid high-risk foods, such as raw or undercooked eggs, raw or unpasteurized dairy products, raw fish or shellfish, raw or rare meat or undercooked poultry.

"You might be surprised to learn that French toast, tiramisu, some puddings and even eggnog are on the list of less safe food options for those vulnerable to food poisoning. So be sure to carefully plan your menu and shopping list this holiday season to avoid certain foods if necessary," Mills said.

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