You’re not feeling so great. Your stomach is queasy, your head is pounding, and you feel really tired. Or perhaps you’ve been in the bathroom for the last thirty minutes.
Earlier in the evening, you had leftovers for dinner. Afterwards, you mixed up a cake to bake and licked the spoon. Then you played with your pet lizard.
Which of these activities do you think could have caused you to feel sick?
If you said all of the above, you’re correct!
Leftovers that are too old or not heated properly, raw eggs and flour in cake batter, and even handling lizards without washing your hands afterward could make you sick.
Every Friday, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is sharing these tips and more in social media posts known as Food Safety Fridays.
Topics have included safe food shopping and storage, safe meal prep, risky raw milk, and food safety in restaurants.
The goal of these posts is to share information about how to protect yourself and let you know where you can learn more about the causes of food-related illnesses.
Did you know, for example, that raw (unpasteurized) milk can contain harmful bacteria that can make you very sick? Pasteurizing (heating to a high enough temperature to kill harmful germs) milk reduces the chance of illness such as listeria.
You may have heard of such illnesses as Salmonellosis (Salmonella), Listeriosis (Listeria), Norovirus, and Hepatitis A. But what about Shigellosis, Campylobacteriosis, Giardiasis and Clostridium Perfringens?
These diseases can be found on pets and even in spills inside your refrigerator. Some can make you sick in a few hours, while you may not feel the effects of others for days. Some can be very serious.
VDH has lots of information on vdh.virginia.gov about the symptoms of foodborne illness, ongoing recalls, outbreaks, and how these illnesses are investigated.
If you suspect something has made you sick, contact your doctor and report it to the Health Department via My Meal Detective. You can also call and report it directly to your Local Health Department.
You can also learn more about dining out safely, food and milk safety, and find links to restaurant reports and regulations.
Remember to check out the VDH Facebook and Twitter on Fridays and share the posts with #FoodSafetyFridays.