Outdoor food safety tips

    TORONTO, Aug. 1 /CNW/ - Everyone loves a barbeque; unfortunately, so do
bacteria that can make people sick. With the free and easy feel of outdoor
cooking and eating, it's easy to forget that the rules of safe food we use
indoors still apply outdoors. Cases of food borne illness increase
significantly during the summer months and outdoor picnics and barbeques are
suspected of being a major cause.
    "We are currently following up on an outbreak of E. coli that happened at
a picnic in July. We know of 54 people who were sick," said Dr. Herveen
Sachdeva, Associate Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health. "Food
poisoning can cause very serious health problems, including kidney failure
from certain types of E. coli infections."
    E. coli, salmonella, and campylobacter are some of the bacteria that can
affect people through the food they eat. Symptoms of food poisoning include
diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting. Anyone
experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention immediately. The earlier
the diagnosis and treatment, the better are the chances of a full recovery. In
addition, some bacteria like E. coli can be contagious, especially among
family members and people who live in the same household.

    The top food safety tips for picnics and barbeques:
    -   Cook ground beef and chicken thoroughly until the juices run clear
        and the meat is no longer pink.
    -   Transport food in chilled containers and separate raw and cooked
    -   Do not reuse marinade unless it is cooked and brought to a full boil
        first to destroy any harmful bacteria.
    -   When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter. Don't put cooked
        food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry.
    -   Wash your hands regularly to reduce the potential spread of illness
        to others.

    Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to
a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of
Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In
the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and
innovation in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to
prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

                 Visit our website at www.toronto.ca/health

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Rishma Govani, Toronto Public
Health, (416) 338-7974

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