Officials warn of foodborne illnesses this summer

Health officials share tips on how to help prevent catching or spreading foodborne illnesses this summer.
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 9:30 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Summertime usually means firing the grill up; however, medical experts suggest you follow some steps to prevent catching or spreading foodborne illnesses.

The federal government estimates 1 in 6 Americans has a foodborne illness each year. Cape Girardeau health experts say good practices could reduce that number.

“We have a lot of family get together and things like that, just outside a lot,” Lea Meador, one Cape Girardeau mother said.

Extra time outdoors means more eating outdoors.

This summer medical experts warn folks of potential foodborne illnesses, something Meador and her family member Joyce Kennedy try to stay away from.

“Just making sure things stay covered and make sure things get put away,” Meador said.

“We don’t leave food sitting out for a long time, and make sure that it’s all clean, even my hands,” Kennedy said.

Health officials suggest putting food in the fridge as soon as you can.

“Our message is still the same, hand washing. It has always been important,” Amy Morris with the Cape Public Health Center said.

Morris explained certain groups are susceptible to foodborne illness.

According to the CDC, that includes children 5 and under, and those with weakened immune systems.

“People will go to the lake or the river or wherever they don’t have hand washing available. They are eating food or preparing food with dirty hands,” Morris said.

Morris still encourages people to have fun, but also be careful what you eat and how long it’s been out.

“I wouldn’t eat anything that hasn’t been out for more than 4 hours,” Morris said.

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