HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (June 30, 2014) - Within the last year, there has been a wave of apparent food-borne illness outbreaks in North Alabama. Recent food illnesses include similar groups of the bacteria, Salmonella and several different types of the common bacteria Escherichia coli, or E. coli.
"When it comes to bacteria the hotter and steamier the weather the more rapid the germs grow," said Dr. Louise C. O'Keefe, assistant professor of nursing at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Nursing.
But, O'Keefe pointed out that the biggest culprit of food-borne illnesses are unwashed hands. She recommends washing hands thoroughly with warm soapy water for a full 30 seconds, but not less than 20 seconds. "Hand sanitizers will do in a pinch, but when you're preparing raw meat to cook, there is no substitute for soap and water," she said. Additionally, O'Keefe advises all fresh whole fruit and vegetables be washed before eating as well.
To prevent serious gastrointestinal illnesses keep your food safe by reviewing summer safety tips: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/events/summervacations/
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