OTTAWA, Feb. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Health Canada is reminding Canadians of
the importance of food safety for people with weakened immune systems.
When you are ill, your immune system can be weakened, which makes it
harder for your body to fight off infections. Examples of people who
may have weakened immune systems include transplant patients and those
with diabetes, HIV, as well as some cancer patients. It is extremely
important for people with weakened immune systems to avoid eating
certain foods, in order to help lower their risk of foodborne illness.
People with weakened immune systems, and their caregivers,should also
follow the four key steps to food safety: Cook; Clean; Chill and Separate.
Cook - Always cook food to the safe internal temperatures. You can check this by using a digital food thermometer. Colour alone is not a reliable indicator that meat is safe to eat.
Meat can turn brown before all the bacteria are killed.
Clean - Properly clean anything that comes in contact with the food (your
hands, kitchen surfaces and utensils, reusable grocery bags, etc.).This will help eliminate bacteria and reduce your risk of
foodborne illness. In addition, fruits and vegetables should be washed under running water that is suitable for drinking.
Chill - It is extremely important to keep cold food cold and hot food hot so
that your food never reaches the "temperature danger zone," which is
between 4oC and 60oC (40oF and 140oF). Defrosting raw meat, poultry and fish should be done in the
refrigerator, in the microwave, or immersed in cold water (replaced every 30 minutes), never at room
temperature. Foods defrosted in the microwave should be cooked
Separate - It is important to always separate your raw foods, such as meat and
eggs, from ready-to-eat foods, such as cooked meat and vegetables, to
Close attention should also be paid to the foods themselves. Some foods
are at a higher risk for foodborne illness than others.
Avoid non-dried deli meats, such as bologna, roast beef, and turkey
breast unless they are fully cooked.
Avoid hot dogs straight out of the package. Make sure to cook hot dogs
until they are steaming hot before eating them.
Don't eat raw or undercooked meat, poultry, fish or seafood.
Avoid refrigerated smoked fish or seafood.
Avoid unpasteurized juice, cider and milk.
Avoid all soft and semi-soft cheeses made from raw or unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses from pasteurized milk.
Avoid refrigerated pâtés and meat spreads.
Avoid uncooked foods made from raw or unpasteurized eggs.
Avoid raw sprouts such as alfalfa and mung beans.
It is estimated that there are approximately 11 million cases of
foodborne illnesses in Canada every year. Many of these cases could be
prevented by following proper food handling and preparation techniques.
For more information on the food safety for those with weakened immune
systems, please visit:
It's Your Health
Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education
Stay connected with Health Canada and receive the latest advisories and
product recalls using social media tools.
SOURCE: Health Canada
For further information:
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