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Floridians Concerned About Food Safety: What You Need to Know

Next to the economy and healthcare, Floridians are most concerned about food safety, according to a University of Florida survey. The public has legitimate reason for concern. Food can transmit diseases that make people sick and can even cause deaths. Threats can be found in meats, poultry, seafood and raw, ready-to-eat produce.

You have to eat: Tips to protect yourself from foodborne illness

Contamination occurs during growing, harvesting, processing, storing, shipping or preparing.  Although you cannot prevent a contagion from reaching your food before it enters your home, you can take some steps to protect yourself. The first step to food safety is perhaps the easiest: wash your hands. If you are eating uncooked food, such as fresh produce, remember to wash it even if it looks clean.  In addition:

  • Make sure you store food correctly — your refrigerator should be set at 40⁰ F
  • Keep raw meat separate from produce
  • Use separate cutting boards for seafood, poultry, meat and produce
  • Avoid bruised fruits and vegetables, as they may have bacteria
  • Cook all meat, fish and poultry to kill e-coli and other dangerous bacteria

It is also a good idea to avoid foods that require refrigeration if they have been left out for too long. If you notice that food served in a restaurant comes lukewarm (if it should be hot) or room temperature (if it should be kept cold) send it back.

Sick at sea

When more than 20 percent of passengers became ill with norovirus during a cruise in January, sick passengers had to endure a potent stomach bug and quarantine. Although it is unclear how this outbreak passed among passengers, according to the Centers for Disease Control, norovirus is commonly spread via food.

Have you been contaminated?

If you have been a victim of serious food poisoning due to a handler’s negligence or a widespread outbreak, contact Charlie Gillette, a personal injury attorney who can advocate for justice on your behalf. Whether you have medical bills, lost wages or a ruined once-in-a-lifetime vacation, our firm has been helping Floridians and Georgians fight negligence for more than 25 years. 

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