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Food Poisoning: Eat Safe All Summer!

Silver Cross Offers Tips on Noticing Signs and Symptoms of Food Poisoning

New Lenox, IL (June 13, 2013) — According to the USDA, food borne illnesses are more prevalent during the summer.  Since the risk of food poisoning is higher in the summer, it is important to know and understand the signs and symptoms of food borne illnesses so that you can effectively treat the illness or contact medical assistance if needed.  It is also important to take extra caution when it comes to transporting and preparing what we eat. 

 

Dr. Daniel Checco, Medical DirectorSummer picnics and cookouts are common sources for food poisoning.  “Depending on the source of contamination, signs and symptoms may start within hours after eating the contaminated food, or they may begin days or possibly even weeks later,” says Dr. Daniel Checco, Medical Director of the Silver Cross Emergency Care Center of Homer Glen.  “Food borne illnesses tend to last from one to 10 days.”  Dr. Checco recommends that if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

  • Blood in your bowel movements
  • Body temperature higher than 101.5° F
  • Dehydration
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Double vision
  • Extreme severe abdominal cramping
  • Frequent Vomiting
  • Muscle weakness that progresses downward
  • Severe diarrhea for more than 3 days
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Vomiting blood

How can food poisoning be prevented?  The USDA offers the following as tips to preventing food borne illness this summer:

  • Make sure you wash both your hands and surface areas thoroughly before preparing food
  • Do not cross contaminate food
  • Pack raw meat securely making sure no raw meat juices come in contact with ready to eat food
  • Always wash plates, utensils, etc. that were used with raw food before using again
  • Always use a meat thermometer, especially when cooking outside
  • Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145° F
  • Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160° F
  • Cook all poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165° F
  • Holding food at an unsafe temperature is a prime cause of food borne illness. Keep cold food cold!
  • Play it safe; put leftover perishables back on ice once you finish eating so they do not spoil or become unsafe to eat.

Even with the utmost caution, food borne illnesses can still go undetected.  If you suspect food poisoning, it is good to know peace of mind is just minutes away at the Silver Cross Emergency Care Center located at 143rd and Bell Rd. in Homer Glen.  Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Center is staffed with Silver Cross Hospital’s board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses. Patients can check  wait times—if any at www.silvercross.org for both the Homer Glen Emergency Care Center as well as Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. For more information, call (708) 364-6337.

Located in the same building is the Silver Cross Health Center offering MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound, EKG and laboratory services. A physician’s order is required. To schedule an appointment for a test, call (815) 300-7076.  There are also several primary and specialty physician offices and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross. For a referral to a physician at the Homer Glen medical center, call 1-888-660-HEAL or visit www.silvercross.org

About Silver Cross Hospital

Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years and as a Hospital of Choice by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 3,000 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 289-bed acute care hospital and 9 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Silver Cross opened a state-of-the-art replacement hospital on February 26, 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

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