This article is another story about food borne infection. In reaction to the E.Coli outbreak in Germany, the CDC received some questions about food safety here in the United States. They were happy to present a report that over the last 15 years, food borne illnesses have actually declined by nearly ¼ or 23% down than in the last 15 years. Excellent news! Definitely our food is safer, either because we are handling it better or because inspection and safety at the packaging plant is at a higher level. But they did point out that interestingly enough, Salmonella over that same time frame has actually risen by 10%. So everything else is down but Salmonella is still seemed to be holding on. Salmonella commonly infects poultry, eggs, some vegetable materials processed foods and it is the most common form of food borne illness in the United States. According to some of the information here in this article there is about 2000 people every year hospitalized for salmonella and about 43% of the deaths in food related illnesses are related to Salmonella.
This is definitely a severe problem and something you keep track of. And again, something else you should educate yourself about. E.Coli outbreaks happen here in the US too but it seems that Salmonella is the most persistent offender in this range. So let’s continue to expand our knowledge and education and that’s what we’re here for. We have covered Salmonellosis, a type of food poisoning caused by Salmonella bacteria here on the Nursing Show before but I wanted to keep this in mind again as the summer time approaches here in the US and you want to start educating people about safe food handling. That means not just cooking and preparing the food safely but storing it afterwards. Some people leave stuffs out of picnics for a long time in a hot sun and then think it’s ok to just throw it out in the fridge and they get cold fast enough. It may not be safe to eat at that point so we need to make sure we are educating people about how to do that appropriately and they can take precautions like taking an extra ice chest with them, some extra ice to ice down things that need to stay refrigerated afterwards. These are all little tips and again nursing interventions are all about some simple focused tips on how to help that patient be healthier. If you have that longer trip to the grocery store taking in an ice chest with you to the grocery store or some of those reusable freezer packs to go ahead and keep your food, cold food cold on the way home when it’s hot outside. So just some things to keep in mind and I encourage you to send me your ideas. Maybe there’s something you’ve come encountered with and I’d love to hear from you. If you have any questions of course send those in to the e-mail address Nursingshow@gmail.com or you can leave a comment right here.
This article has been featured in the news segment of the Nursing Show podcast episode Donna Mazyck on School Nurses and Episode 181.